Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana || Level: Beginner
Steps and Alignment Tips:
1) Begin standing with feet about 4ft apart.
2) Step right foot towards the top of your mat, then turn left foot in slightly to the right.
3) Align the heels, then gently bend right knee to a 90 degree angle, bringing the thigh almost parallel to the floor. Leave the left leg straight.
Tip (1): Be sure right knee is in-line or behind your ankle, and the kneecap is pointed towards the center of the right foot. This will avoid strain or tension from developing within the knee.
Tip (2): If unable to bring the thigh parallel with the floor, pull the knee behind your ankle to lessen the intensity.
4) Raise arms up on either side with palms facing down. Keep the shoulders directly over the pelvis, avoid leaning forward or backwards.
Tip: Picture yourself between two walls, so if you find yourself hunching over – straighten the bent knee just a little and come up slightly. Avoid leaning over the right thigh.
5) Exhale, draw shoulder blades down and across your back, relaxing any tense muscles in your face. Tighten core and keep thighs firm, with tailbone tucked in.
6) Gaze over fingertips. Hold for 15-20 seconds to start, then increase time with practice. Repeat on the other side for the same amount of time.
Tip: When transitioning to the other side, straighten the bent leg and turn both feet in parallel to each other. Then, turn left foot towards the top of the mat, and the right foot in slightly to the left.
Proceed with caution if you have/had neck injury (do not turn to look at your hand – keep looking straight ahead) or high blood pressure, or diarrhea.
Use a chair for support in the beginning, until you are able to practice without. Begin seated, then turn right leg out to the right, bending at a 90 degree angle or as far as possible. Straighten the left leg out to the right. Raise arms up parallel to the floor.