The Language of Yoga: Reverse Warrior Pose

Article 2_ReverseWarriorPose

Variations on the warrior poses are common, and I think this is one of the best. Reverse warrior – Viparita Virabhadrasana – is a terrific way to stretch your side body. Side body stretching opens the muscles between the ribs, pelvis and lower back to help you maintain a healthy spine.

  • Getting into it: From warrior II (with the right knee bent), drop the left hand down to rest on your left leg. Then, reach the right arm up to the ceiling on an inhale. Keep your right fingers active look up to your hand. Keep your right knee bent and press firmly into your feet – your legs are strong. When you feel solid, begin sinking hips down. Check in to make sure your shoulders are soft. Hold the pose for up to 5 breaths and repeat it on the other side.
  • Tips and tricks:
    • As in warrior II, keep your back leg strong to take excess tension out of the front leg.
    • For a deeper shoulder opener, bring your top hand behind your head and press down on the elbow with your left hand.
    • Come onto the toes of your front foot for more of a challenge in your legs.
    • Keeping the arm lifted, simply straighten your front leg to prepare for triangle pose.
  • Benefits:
  • Opens the sides of your rib cage to improve mobility and expand your lungs to breathe deeper.
  • Strengthens the quads, arms and neck.
  • Stretches the groins, hips and obliques as well as opens the chest and shoulders.
  • Increases self-esteem and perseverance

Reverse warrior is also a great segway into our next pose – triangle. You’ll soon see how keeping the side body long comes in handy during your yoga practice.

natalie_Anthony_HSNatalie 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.

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