Reverse Warrior | Viparita Virabhadrasana
Experience to extended warrior family with an incredible opening in the side of the torso as well as the stretching the legs.
Viparita Virabhadrasana is derived from the combination of the Sanskrit words Viparita (Inverted or Reversed),Virabhadra (Name of a furious warrior who is an incarnation of the Hindu god Shiva) and asana (posture or pose). We call this pose is Reverse Warrior Pose or Dancing Warrior Pose
How To find Your Steady Pose
1 . Distance of your stance 3.5 - 4 feet apart, try and feel it, both feet parallel.
Now turn the right foot to right side, keep the back foot in the beginning position or slightly turned inward, back heel will be in angle. Keep your back foot firmly grounded. Look at your heel to make sure its aligned.
2 . How is your front knee?
Bend your right knee
You have 3 options
- Knee above ankle
- knee a bit over the ankle
- knee bit behind the ankle
Knee should not be over your big toe or your second toe
Try, feel and choose which option suits you
3. How are your Legs?
Front thigh engaged
Back leg firm, rotate your thigh out
4. How are your Hips
Open your hips and groin
Hips level and Pelvis neutral
Draw your navel and lower abdominal in
5. Check your hips and chest are facing to the side, Lengthen the sides of your torso with every inhale, strengthen your legs with every exhale.
6. Draw your ribcage in ( not puffed out )
7. Draw your left hand down to rest on the left leg ( placed at thigh, knee or side shin )
8. Your right arm can be over your head palm facing down or rested behind your back
9. Soften your shoulders down your back
10.Soft gaze through your inner arm up, if this isn't comfortable you can look down to floor
Have a try and feel it
Reverse warrior with hand variant
If gazing up feels uncomfortable, practice the pose with your gaze down, chin slightly in.
Rather than trying to reach back as far as possible in this pose, bring your attention to lifting and lengthening through the spine, more to side bending.
If you begin to feel a backbend more than a side bend, ease away from the shape until you can once again find length and space.
If extending arms up makes your shoulder and neck uncomfortable, you can rest your hand at front thigh or behind your back
Remember the story of Virabhrasana from previous blog - in Warrior 2. This pose is part of the warrior family. A grounded and strong standing pose.
THE STORY AS METAPHOR
When Virabhadra kills Daksha, one could say the warrior represents an aspect of the higher self that manifests to slay the human ego, represented by Daksha. Then, when Shiva brings Daksha back to life, he reminds us that inner work isn't as simple as destroying the parts of ourselves we don’t like. Instead, if we extend compassion toward the stubborn, harmful sides of ourselves, we can invite them to soften and relinquish control. Through our warriorship, we can befriend, rather than admonish, our egos. We can accept ourselves, even the aspects we wish to discard.
THE POSE AS METAPHOR
Reverse warrior teaches us to stand strong on our mats, just as we strive to stand strong in the highest, most benevolent truth of who we are. And as we gaze upward, as if toward our potential, we also reach back for support; we are thus encouraged to call upon the tools we need to navigate the inner realms of ego—whether those tools take the form of meditation, self-inquiry, a regular hatha practice, a “passenger book,” or the words of a master teacher.
Please be mindful when you practise each asana/ posture
Salam & Namaste
story metaphor by Kathryn Ashworth