Good morning Yogis! We are still on the Third Limb of Yoga, Asanas or poses, and continuing with Warrior Weekend! We are going to cover the other two Warrior Poses – Baddha Virabhadrasana (Humble Warrior) and Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior). Though there can be slight differences in “proper” way to perform a pose from teacher to teacher and even within the same class, I am sharing what I keep in mind during these poses when I practice.
You will notice all Virabhadrasanas have the same strong base/legs – front foot pointing straight forward, back foot grounded and pointing to the side.
Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Baddha Virabhadrasana (Humble Warrior) & Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior). Try to hold each Asana / pose for a few breaths, and try on both sides! We will break down each pose below.
Baddha Virabhadrasana (Humble Warrior)
We will start in Virabhadrasana I – Warrior 1 from yesterday, flip the back foot into Ashtanga Chandrasana – High Lunge, and fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana – Humble Warrior.
Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight). As you fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana, you can either keep back foot grounded, or flip your back leg so knee is under, and back foot is grounded with toes/ball of foot into your mat for extra balance.
Legs – Your front leg should stay bent with your knee directly over the ankle. Keep back leg straight, and as you fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana, you may want to flip leg so the knee is pointing down to the ground and back toes are grounded into the mat (high lunge back leg).
Hips – Point both hips straight forward. Bend from your hips to fold into Baddha Virabhadrasana – Humble Warrior, so hips are pointing forward and a bit down.
Torso – As you fold at your hips into Baddha Virabhadrasana, you will rest your torso/chest on your front knee. Next, notice your shoulders. Try to gently roll your shoulders back and down, away from your ears. Notice how this helps keep your chest open.
Arms – Start with arms behind you, hands clasped with thumbs pointing down. This is an arm bind, or “Baddha” in Sanskrit (technically this pose is “bound warrior” in English). Keep our arms in this bind behind you (or perhaps raise your arms slightly if comfortable) as you lean forward into Baddha Virabhadrasana.
Head and Neck – Keep your head and neck in line with the rest of your torso, and allow both to gently curve as you lean forward and look down into Baddha Virabhadrasana.
Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior)
This is my favorite of the Warrior poses! Start in Virabhadrasana / Warrior II from yesterday, and lean back into Viparita Virabhadrasana / Reverse Warrior.
Feet – Feet should be about 3 – 4 1/2 feet apart, flat on the ground. The front foot should point straight ahead, and the back foot should point straight to the side (or pointing slightly forward if hips are tight). Keep your back foot grounded into your mat to help open your hips.
Legs – Your front leg should be bent with knee directly over ankle. Keep back leg straight, with knee to the side.
Hips – Hips should stay open to the side. Take note of your booty – it should be almost tucked under rather than sticking out.
Torso – Start with your torso straight and tall over your hips. As you lean back into Viparita Virabhadrasana, keep your hips and shoulders to the side, but allow your ribs to turn slightly up to the ceiling.
Arms – Start with your arms parallel to the ground, with palms facing down. Drop your back and hand let slide down your back leg, as you flip your front palm and move up and back, keeping your shoulders facing to the side and down.
Head and Neck – Keep your neck neutral, and allow your gaze to follow your top hand until you are looking up and slightly back.
Please comment to share your experience with these Virabhadrasanas or Warrior Poses! What did you think? Which one did you like the best? Always remember, be kind!