Yoga teaches patience. In the turbulent human mind, there is so much that needs to be contained in and curbed; it's a struggle, yet you are supposed to be poised, composed and not give in. Isn't yoga a similar practice? While most of it rests on mastering the art of breathing, its other half relies on a host of asanas that are all about 'holding' the pose and not giving up. The series of Virabhadrasana alternatively known as the Warrior Poses are excellent for strengthening. These rev up the stamina and get the heartbeat racing while all you do is to just 'hold' the pose.
To begin with, let's throw some light on the first posture in the series - or The Warrior Pose I. The posture gets its name from the fact that that it is great for the overall strengthening of the body. It strengthens thighs muscles - the largest muscle group in the body - and therefore helps in increasing metabolism and calorie loss. " Virabhadrasana is apt for an increased vitality of the body. It regulates and betters hormonal secretion in the body which aids in many pivotal processes," noted Yogacharya Anoop, Chaitanya foundation.
Virabhadrasana I and its benefits
The posture engages your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles, thighs, back and glutes. "Warrior pose I gives a nice stretch to your inner thighs which leads to better secretion of hormones," shared Mr. Anoop. Many would struggle to maintain and hold the posture, and as it is done, the heart rate goes up. The asana is therefore great for heart and blood circulation.Virabhadrasana is also known to strengthen stomach, intestines and liver, "so, all those suffering from bowel or digestive discomfort or liver issues can practice this asana," noted Mr. Anoop.
The Warrior Pose is excellent for those who lack stamina and need more vigour. It fortifies heart and works on the hamstrings and abdomen.
How to get into the pose
- Stand straight with your legs hip-distance apart and arms on your sides
- Now, spread your legs wide-apart
- Turn your left feet out to face the left side of the mat
- The other feet will turn inward to make a 45 Degree angle
- Twist your body to left completely
- Go forward on your left knee making a 90 Degree angle; make sure that your knee doesn't cross over the toe.
- Let the other leg stretch properly
- Hold for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
Things to keep in mind
Virabhadrasana puts pressure on the heart; therefore it is advisable for heart patients or people suffering from hypertension and blood pressure issues to avoid the pose. The asana should not be performed by those who have an injured back/spine, breathing disorders, lung related ailments or sleep disorders. The pose can be done for 10 seconds on each side, with 5 repetitions. With an increased stamina, one can aim to hold the pose for 2 minutes on each side without any repetition.
It is imperative to warm yourself up by doing some basic asanas like Tadasana. Cooling down holds much significance, after you are finished with the asana. Yogacharya Anoop suggests Janu sirasana (head-to-knee pose) to be the best cool-down exercise following the Warrior pose. Chandrabhedi Pranayam or left-to-left nostril breathing is also excellent to cool down after a vigorous practice, do it for a couple of minutes to seal your regime.