Private/Small Group Yoga & Pilates in Tokyo
Tsukishima Chuo | Shirokane Minato

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)


This pose corrects the pelvis and hip joints and is effective for stiff shoulders and back pain.

One of the basic standing poses. When used in combination with Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2), it is effective in correcting the pelvis and increases the strength of the trunk and the flexibility of the hip joint.

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2)

Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1) can be the important basis for various asanas. It is a popular pose in Vinyasa Yoga and is also included in Sun Salutation B.

Table of Contents

Benefits of Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)

  • Pelvic correction
  • Improvement of stiff shoulders and back pain
  • Strengthening of the rectus abdominis and transverse abdominal muscles
  • Strengthening adductor muscle  (front leg)
  • Increasing flexibility of hip extension (rear leg)
  • Stretching iliopsoas / quadriceps
  • Strengthening hamstrings and gluteus maximus

Contraindications and Cautions

Avoid this pose if you have a hip, knee or ankle injury.

If you have a pain in your shoulder, you can put your hand on your waist without raising your arm. If you have a neck or back injury, keep your neck and back straight without back bending.

Step-by-Step Instructions for Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)

Drishti (gaze at): Above (Ashtanga Yoga) / Forward (Normal)

1) Stand in Tadasana (Samasthiti / Standing Straight) and pull your right foot straight back about 1m. Ground your right foot at an angle of about 45° with external rotating hip joint.

2) Inhale and extend your arms straight above your head. Do not shrug your shoulders, but stretch your armpits.

3) While exhaling, bend the left knee and lower the pelvic floor while keeping the pelvis facing forward as much as possible. Turn your knees straight forward so that your ankle is directly below your left knee. If your left knee stick out more than the ankle, pull your right foot back a little to extend your stance. Extend your right leg firmly.

4) If the pelvis tilts forward, it will hurt your lower back, so keep your pelvis standing as much as possible, and stretch your back and bend it backwards. The line of sight naturally points upwards according to the angle of the back (in the case of Ashtanga yoga, consciously look up).

5) While maintaining the angle of the pelvis, lower the pelvic floor as much as possible. Aim for a low level where your left thigh is level (note that if your right hip is lowered back, you will feel like you were able to do it easily). Keep about 5 breaths.

6) Inhale and stretch your left leg. Exhale and return your right leg to the front to return to Tadasana. Do the same for the left side.


It is easier to keep your overhead hands as wide as your shoulders. There is also a variation where you put your palms together overhead and look up, which is done at Ashtanga Yoga.

Direction to deepen Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)

  • Stand with your pelvis facing forward as much as possible and not leaning forward as much as possible
  • While maintaining the posture of the trunk, bend the front legs deeply to lower the pelvis.

Tips for Virabhadrasana 1 (Warrior 1)

Open your foot stance according to your flexibility and strength

While paying attention to the orientation of the pelvis, first practice by narrowing the space between your legs, and then gradually widen it. Practice your spine straight up, rather than trying to bend it backwards at first.

The biggest point is the orientation of the pelvis

Try to face forward the pelvis as much as possible.

  • If your stance is wide, the pelvis will not face completely forward, but try not to face it sideways.
  • Keep using the abdominal musclesm, hind leg hamstrings and gluteus maximus so that the pelvis does not tilt forward.

Vinyasa sequence examples

  • Transfer your weight to the front legs, straighten it, tilt your upper body forward and raise your hind legs to connect to Virabhadrasana 3.
  • Stretch your front legs, narrow your leg stance a little, put your hands together on your back, and then bend forward to connect to Parshvottanasana. After that, twist your torso to connect to Parivrtta Trikonasana.

Virabhadrasana 3


Parivrtta Trikonasana

Asana name variation

Sanskrit: Virabhadrasana 1
English: Warrior 1

男性ヨガインストラクター 高橋陽介の写真

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