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Warrior I Pose (virabhadrasana I)

Standing posture that increases your stamina and improve your balance.
 

Warrior I Pose (or virabhadrasana I) is a standing pose that strengthens your legs and stretches your arms and shoulders, while opening your chest. This pose can also help increase your stamina and improve your balance.
 
Named after the mythic warrior Virabhadra, Warrior I Pose promotes a feeling of strength and power.
 
While performing this pose, make sure your head, shoulders, hips and knees all face the same direction. As you hold the pose, visualize the smooth line of your body from the heel of your back foot to your fingertips.
 
To help you feel grounded and stable in this pose, make sure both of your feet are in even contact with the floor, supporting the weight of your body. If you still find it difficult to balance, you can turn your back foot out on a slight angle. If your lower back feels strained in this pose, you can lean your torso forward slightly over your bent leg.
 
You should use caution performing Warrior I Pose if you have hip, knee, back or shoulder problems.
 
Steps:
Begin in Mountain Pose.
Step your right foot forward 2 to 4 feet. Your feet should be hip width apart, with your toes pointing forward.
Bend your right knee slightly.
(Your left leg should be straight and the sole of your left foot should be firmly planted on the floor.)
(Make sure your weight is evenly distributed between both feet.)
Face your head, shoulders, hips and knees forward.
Inhale as you raise your arms above your head, palms facing each other and fingers pointing toward the ceiling.
Relax your shoulders down away from your ears.
Point the crown of your head toward the ceiling and gaze straight ahead.
Hold the pose for 15 seconds to 1 minute.
To come out of the pose, exhale as you lower your arms to your sides. Then return to Mountain Pose.
Repeat steps 2 to 9 for your other side.
 
How can I vary the position of my arms in this pose?
There are several positions you can choose for your arms in this pose. You can raise your arms above your head and grasp your elbows with the opposite hands. You can also extend your arms out to the sides, with your palms facing down. If you have shoulder problems, you can place your hands on your hips.
 
Is there a more advanced variation of Warrior I Pose?
Yes. While holding the pose, bring your palms together, keeping your arms stretched up toward the ceiling. Then tilt your head back to look up at the ceiling. As you become more flexible, you can perform a back bend in this pose. To perform a back bend, move your hands back slightly, as you gently arch your back and tilt your head to look up and back. Remember to maintain length through your spine and neck. You should not allow your head to drop back.
 
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