Pose of the week: Virabhadrasana I

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Pose of the week: Virabhadrasana I, also known as Warrior I Pose, is a foundational yoga pose and one of three warrior poses.

Getting into the pose: Step your feet 4-5 feet apart and turn your right toes forward at a 90 degree angle and left toes in at a 45 degree angle. Straighten the back leg and press the outer edge of your back foot into the mat. Bend the front knee so that knee is stacked over ankle and thigh is parallel with the mat. Extend the arms up, spreading the fingers wide and keep the arms extended alongside your ears or press palms together and gaze up at your thumbs.

Alignment cues: Ground down through the back foot and reach strongly through your arms lifting the ribcage away from the pelvis. Square your hips with the front edge of the mat arching your upper torso back slightly. Pressing palms together is an option as is tilting the head back. Keeping arms separated and lifted and head neutral is a modification. Keep your shoulders dropped away from your ears and breathe.

Benefits:

  • Stretches the chest and lungs, shoulders and neck, belly, groins (psoas)

  • Strengthens the shoulders and arms, and the muscles of the back

  • Strengthens and stretches the thighs, calves, and ankles


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