Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

EFFECT: Strengthens legs, focuses mind and body.

PROPS: NONE

GAZE: If palms are touching, gaze up toward your hands. If not, keep a soft gaze looking forward.

PRECEDING POSES: Low Lunge, Crescent

COUNTERPOSES: Down Dog, Standing Forward Fold

PRECAUTIONS: To protect your knees, always keep your front bent knee directly over your ankle.

STEPS:

1. Stand at the front of your mat. Take a big step back with your left foot. Line up the heel of your right foot with the inside edge of your left foot. Turn your left toes slightly forward toward the left-front corner of your mat. Make sure your right toes point straight ahead.

2. Bend your right knee, working toward getting your thigh parallel to the mat. At the same time, press the pinky-side edge
of your left foot into the mat and keep straightening through your left leg. Spin your left inner thigh toward the back of the room.

3. Extend your arms overhead. If elbows are straight, you can touch your palms together; otherwise, keep the arms apart. Spin your left ribs forward to square of your chest with the front of the room. Repeat on the other side

TIP: It is more important to keep the back leg straight than to get the front thigh parallel to the mat. Keep rooting down through the pinky side of the back foot and straightening the back leg. If you can keep that leg straight, then you can bend deeper into the front thigh

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