Yoga Pose - Warrior 1 (Virabhadrasana I)

The Myths of Proud Warrior Yoga Pose

Once upon a time there was a powerful king named Daksha. When his daughter, Sati, fell in love with and married the lord of universal consciousness, Shiva, Daksha wasn’t exactly thrilled.

To make his feelings about his loathed son-in-law clear, Daksha threw a party and invited everyone but his daughter Sati and Shiva.

Sati, however, went to the party. But being greatly humiliated and insulted, she threw herself into the fire and perished. When Shiva heard this he was gravely provoked, tore a hair from his matted locks and threw it to the ground.

A powerful hero named Virabhadra rose up and awaited his orders. He was told to lead Shiva’s army against Daksa and destroy his party. Virabhadra and his army appeared in the midst of Daksa’s assembly like a hurricane and destroyed the party, routed the other gods and priests and beheaded Daksa.

Shiva in grief for Sati withdrew to Kailas and plunged into meditation. Sati was born again as Uma in the house of Himalaya.  She strove once more for the love of Shiva and ultimately won his heart. The story is told by Kalidasa in his great poem Kumara sambhava (The Birth of the War-Lord).

This asana is dedicated to the powerful hero created by Shiva from his matted hair.


Benefits of Warrior 1 Pose

In this pose the chest is fully expanded and this helps deep breathing which will improve the breathing capacity and invigorating the body.

It stretches the whole front side of the body while strengthening the thighs, ankles, and back.  This is a powerful standing pose that develops stamina, balance, and coordination.

It relieves stiffness in shoulders and back, tones up the ankles and knees,  arches of the feet and cures stiffness of the neck. It also encourages greater flexibility, strength, and range of motion in the feet, increasing circulation as it warms all of the muscles. It also reduces fat round the hips.

It relieves backache, lumbago and sciatica. It can be therapeutic for sciatica.  It strengthens the back muscles, tones the abdominal muscles, relieves acidity and improves digestion.

It strengthens the bladder and corrects a displaced uterus. It relieves mentrual pain and reduces heavy menstruation.

Beyond the physical pose, Warrior I creates deep concentration. Focusing on your foundation and building the pose from the ground up reduces distractions and hones your energy. Your mind becomes focused, calm, and clear.


My Experience

This is one of my favourite yoga poses, Warrior 1, also known as Proud Warrior, because I have encountered a great experience when I’m practicing this pose.

In one of my experience in many years ago while I’m practising yoga, I have encountered an experience that I have never experience before while I’m holding at the Proud Warrior pose.

Instead of feeling struggling and heavy while holding the pose, I just suddenly feel light, easy and calm at the pose. I can actually just stay on there at the posture as long as I like.  It’s like I am meditating into the posture and found the inner peace inside me.

I have become the posture and the posture has become me. There is no different between the posture and me.  The “I” is no longer exist just for that moment.  It’s really a great experience!

It is because of this experience that keep me in this yoga journey. This is a never ending journey. May everyone able to find their inner peace through meditative yoga.