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02Jul

Featured Yoga Posture July 2014: Reverse Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)


Reverse Warrior
(Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Benefits:
Strengthens and stretches the legs, groins, hips, and the sides of the torso and waist. It improves flexibility in the spine, inner thighs, ankles, and chest. It also builds strength in the thighs, shoulders, and arms. Warrior pose battles inner weakness and wins focus. You see

Cautions:
Avoid this pose if you have a recent or chronic hip, knee, back, neck or shoulder injury.

Instructions:
1. Begin in Mountain Pose, standing with your feet hip-distance apart and your arms at your sides.
2. Turn to the left and step your feet wide apart, about 4-5 feet. Align your heels.
3. Turn your right foot out 90 degrees, so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat. Pivot your left foot slightly inwards. Your back toes should be at a 45-degree angle.
4. Raise your arms to the side to shoulder-height, parallel to the floor. Your arms should be aligned directly over your legs. With your palms facing down, reach actively from fingertip to fingertip.
5. Exhale as you bend your front knee. Align your knee directly over the ankle of your front foot. Your front shin should be perpendicular to the floor. Sink your hips low, eventually bringing your front thigh parallel to the floor. This is Warrior II.
6. On your next exhalation, drop your left (back) hand to the back of your left thigh. On an inhalation, lift your right arm straight up, reaching your fingertips toward the ceiling. Your right bicep should be next to your right ear.
7. Keep your front knee bent and your hips sinking low as you lengthen through the sides of your waist. Slide your back hand further down your leg and come into a slight backbend.
8. Tilt your head slightly and bring your gaze to your right hand’s fingertips.
9. Keep your shoulders relaxed, chest lifting, and the sides of your waist long.
10. Hold for 10-20 breaths.
11. To release, inhale as you lower your arms back into Warrior II. Press down through your back foot and straighten your front leg. Lower your arms all the way. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.

Excerpted from: http://www.yogaoutlet.com/guides/how-to-do-reverse-warrior-pose-in-yoga

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