Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I) Instructions & Photos • Yoga


1. From High Lunge pose with the right knee bent, engage the legs to ground down through the feet, and inhale the hands up to the bent knee. Use the arms to draw the torso back slightly. Make sure the right knee is directly over the right ankle.

2. Bring the hands to the hips and square the hips and the shoulders to the front wall. Relax the shoulders down and draw the shoulderblades towards the spine to open the chest.

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3. Inhale the arms over the head in a H position with the palms facing each other, or bring the palms together crossing the thumbs, or interlace the fingers together and point the index finger up. Keep the shoulders relaxed and the chest lifted.

4. To go deeper, bring the palms together and carefully arch back and look up towards the ceiling.

5. Inhale deeply into the belly and chest, exhale press into the feet, fingers and crown, feeling your body expanding out in 5 directions.

6. Keep breathing and hold for 3-6 breaths.

7. To release, exhale and lower the hands down to the floor.

Benefits + Contraindications

Benefits: Warrior I strengthens the legs, opens the hips and chest and stretches the arms and legs. Warrior I develops concentration, balance and groundedness. This pose improves circulation and respiration and energizes the entire body.

Contraindications: Recent or chronic injury to the hips, knees, back or shoulders.

Modifications + Variations

Modifications: Keep the hands on the knees or the hips.

Variations: A) Reach the arms out to the sides or hold on to opposite elbows above the head. B) The back foot can be turned in to be flat on the floor.


Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence leading up to this pose: High Lunge, Mountain, Warrior II.

Use one or more of the following postures to build a sequence ending after this pose: Warrior II, Prayer Twist, Warrior Mudra, Warrior III.