Learning the Language of Yoga: Warrior Pose 1 #MovementMondays

Strong standing poses are a great way to build heat and keep your body happy during the winter. The warrior poses in yoga do just that. Chronologically (there are traditionally three), let’s begin with warrior 1 – Virabhadrasana 1.

Warrior 1_Image 1

Getting into it: typically, we enter this pose from downward dog. From downward dog, lunge your right foot forward next to your right hand. Pivot on the ball of the left foot and drop the left heel on to the floor. The left foot is planted and is ideally turned out at a 90 degree angle. Raise your torso and arms up. Then, bend the right knee directly over the right ankle and sink. The intention is to get your knee in line with your ankle. Draw the right hip back and the left hip forward so that the hips are squared to the front of your mat. Raise your arms overhead and maybe look up to your fingertips. Slide your shoulder blades down your back. Be sure to repeat these movements on the left side.

Tips and tricks:

– If lunging from downward dog is tricky, raise the leg high and guide it forward to your hand.
– Take a wider stance (horizontally) if you don’t feel stable.
– Keep your arms apart of your shoulders/neck are tight, or clasp your hands above your head.
– If you have permanent injuries in your ankles (like me), I suggest staying on the ball of the back foot. Your toes would be pointed forwards in a (crescent) lunge.


– Stretches and strengthens your shoulders, arms, legs, ankles and back.
– Opens yours hips, chest and lungs.
– Encourages good circulation and respiration.
– Energizes the entire body.

Warrior 1 is typically done in most yoga classes – it’s a key pose in the sun salutation B sequence. During this sequence, the goal is to warm you up and prepare your body for other warrior and standing poses.

Natalie Anthony, BA, RYT-200 Yoga Instructor

After a serious accident, Natalie was revived by discovering the physical and emotional benefits of yoga. Her yoga journey began as a client at Balance, and evolved into a passion for teaching the practice to others. Natalie is registered with the International Yoga Alliance as an instructor. Her creative sequencing inspires students to develop strength, flexibility and joy – both on and off the mat. Natalie instructs group classes and facilitates private one-on-one Yoga sessions at Balance, a Toronto boutique fitness and wellness centre. balancefit.com



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