Virabhadra =  a fierce warrior – an incarnation of Shiva

Many stories describe this shape as the stance Virabhadra took as he drew his sword to remove the head of his enemy.  As anyone knows who has ever done the pose, there is a balance between the sharp lines and the gentleness in which you hold your body.  As I often say in class, the fiercest of warriors walk through life with a strong spine and a kind, soft gaze. Let’s a take a look at the way I prefer to practice the pose lately:

The basics:

  1. Step your feet roughly 4 feet apart – aim for ankles under wrists.
  2. Turn your right foot forward. Turn your left toes slightly forward from parallel. Allow your left hip to travel in the same angle.
  3. Bend your right knee up to 90 degrees – avoid your knee shifting forward of your right ankle.  Press your right knee wide toward your pinkie toe.
  4. Float your arms up to parallel with the ground. Draw your left shoulder back in line with your right shoulder.
  5. Gaze over your right arm.  If you have a sensitivity, keep your chin in line with the center of your chest. 

The energy:

  • Press down through your heels and squeeze them together.
  • Lift up from pelvic floor through the crown of your head.
  • With a strong foundation, relax the base of your neck.
  • Engage the back of your arms and extend your arms away from your torso.
  • Soften your gaze and facial features.
  • Match your inhales with your exhales for 5 -10 breaths before moving to the 2nd side.
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