Warrior 1 or High Lunge Pose, Which One is Your Pose

Asana Name

Today I will share one of the Warrior poses, a basic pose in yoga asana. It is called Warrior 1 or Virabhadrasana 1.


This pose is named after the great mythological warrior, Virabhadra, an incarnation of the god Shiva. Virabhadra was a tall, dark and fierce deity, depicted with a thousand arms, flaming hair and eyes and wearing a garland of skulls.

From the mythology Virabhadra holds a sword in each hand. In this pose you are will be facing head on, holding two swords above your head, fierce and confident, ready for battle.


Warrior 1 is an excellent pose for grounding. It increases flexibility in the hips and strengthens the legs, ankles and feet. Remember to square the hips and keep the back heel grounded. It’s important to be a fit warrior and stay aligned properly so you can continue practicing yoga for a lifetime…injury-free.


This pose can be quite tricky for some people as everybody has a unique alignment. So since yoga should be for everybody, we will explore the High Lunge which is great variation that can be substituted for the Warrior 1 pose. You can read about it below after the description of Warrior 1


Virabhadrasana 1 - back heel down - even hips - gaze forward


How To Do Warrior 1

  • Entering Warrior 1 pose starts from Downward dog

  • Step your right leg forward and pivot your back heel down.

  • Align your right knee over your right ankle and it should follow your big toe or second toe

  • Be sure your feet are at least a hip-distance apart and your back foot is at a 45-60 degree angle

  • Make sure your lunge is at a safe distance and strong

  • Also make sure you can press your back foot flat onto the mat and your hips are able to face the front of your yoga mat

  • When you feel stable, lift your torso and bring your hands to your hips

  • Check your chest and hips are facing forward

  • If you feel your hips begin to open, offer a self-adjustment by placing your left hand behind your left hip and gently press the hip forward to even up your hips

  • If your hips are not level, you can place your back foot a bit wider to the side so then there is no need to align your heels.

  • Draw your lower abs in, lengthen the spine, keep your chest lifted and allow the crown of your head to “lift” towards ceiling, chin neutral, and make sure you are not overarching your lower back

  • Once you feel steady extend your arms up palms facing each other, keep your shoulders in neutral

  • Gaze forward or gaze up toward your palms (soft gaze so you won't add wrinkles your forehead)

  • Take a few breaths, feel from within and enjoy the pose. When you are ready to release, bring your hands to the mat and move back to downward facing dog

  • Repeat on the opposite side

High Lunge - Back heel lifted - even hips - Gaze forward


High Lunge is a great substitute for Warrior I because it offers increased spaciousness in the pelvis and lumbar spine.


How To Do High Lunge Pose

  • Starting from Downward dog

  • Step your right leg forward, keep your left leg engaged with the leg muscles micro-bent on your left knee, lift your back heel and balance on your toes

  • Align your right knee align on top of the right ankle and the right knee should follow your big toe or second toe

  • Be sure your feet are at least a hip-distance apart and your back foot is at a 45-60 degree angle

  • When you feel stable, lift your torso and bring your hands to your hips

  • Check that your chest and hips are facing forward

  • If you feel your hips begin to open, offer a self-adjustment by placing your left hand behind your left hip and gently press the hip forward so that your hips are even

  • If your hips are not level, you can place your back foot a bit wider to the side so there will be no need to align your heels

  • Draw your abs in, tailbone down, lengthen your spine, keep your chest lifted and allow the crown of your head to “lift” towards ceiling, chin neutral, not overarching your lower back

  • Once you feel steady extend your arms up palms facing each other, keep your shoulders in neutral

  • Gaze forward and smile

  • Take a few breaths, feel from within and enjoy the pose. When you’re ready to release, bring your hands to the mat back to downward facing dog

  • Repeat on the opposite side



Warrior 1 - Virabhadrasana 1 - back heels down - even hips - gaze up


Contraindications and Cautions

  • High blood pressure

  • Heart problems

  • people with shoulder problems should keep their raised arms parallel (or slightly wider than parallel) to each other.

  • People with neck problems should keep their head in a neutral position and not look up at the hands.

  • People with sacroiliac injury choose high lunge not warrior 1


Benefits :

  • Strengthen arms, shoulder, thighs, ankles and back

  • Stretch hips flexor, abdominals and ankles

  • expand chest, lung and shoulder

  • Develop stamina, flexibility

  • Improve sense of balance and focus

  • Mood booster

  • Battle inner weakness and wins focus, You see that there is no war within you,

Warrior I can be a powerful way to build concentration, balance, and focus. It creates strength in all areas of life — physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Practicing this pose regularly will help you to face the challenges of daily life with equanimity and poise.


you are on your own side, you are your own strength

- Krishnamacharya -




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