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Virabhadrasana is a standing yoga posture with feet apart. Classic Yoga Texts did not mention or describe this posture. It was first mentioned in Yoga Makaranda of Sri Krishnamacharya in the year 1934. Hence, it is a modern yoga pose with an ancient name. Or it might have been a part of traditional yoga practice without any published documentation.

This article discusses the meaning of Virabhadrasana, the story behind it, the step-by-step procedure, its benefits, and its variations.

Virabhadrasana Information

Pose NameVirabhadrasana
Sanskrit Nameवीरभद्रासन
IAST Namevirabhadrāsana
English NameWarrior Pose
Difficulty LevelIntermediate
TypeStanding Yoga Poses with feet apart
Who should avoid?Pregnant Ladies, Cardiac Patients

Virabhadrasana Meaning

The pose is named after Virabhadra, the famous warrior of Hindu Mythology. Virabhadra is a warrior created by Lord Shiva to destroy Daksha, the son of Brahma. Vira (वीर) means Warrior. Bhadra (भद्रा) means friend.


The pose gets this name because it resembles the pose of the mythical warrior as figured in the ancient temples of India. In English, it is popularly known as Warrior Pose.

Virabhadrasana Procedure

Precautions and Contraindications

Persons with health conditions like chronic back pain, disc disorder, knee injury, or disorder should avoid this posture. Pregnant ladies should avoid the third variation.

According to B.K.S Iyengar, people with weak hearts should not try this one. Even normal persons should not perform this pose for a longer duration.

Preparatory Poses

The practice of following poses will help to master this yoga pose.

Virabhadrasana Steps

Step 1

First, assume a standing position with feet 3 to 4 inches apart. Take a couple of deep breaths.

Step 2

Raise both arms over the head. Inhale and stretch your left leg behind. Adjust the height of the body to a lunge position. Keep the hip level below the level of the right knee.

Step 3

Fix the gaze on palms. Breath normally. This is the final position. Keep the pose as long as it is comfortable.

Step 4

Release the position and repeat above the steps with the right leg behind.


A beginner may retain Step 3 for one minute, Over time, it may extend for a duration of up to three to five minutes.

Follow Up Poses

If the practitioner performs the three variations one after another, there is no requirement for follow-up poses. In this case, one may consider one of the following poses as the follow-up pose.

In case, the practitioner takes the practice one or both of the first two variations, he should consider practicing one of the following poses.

Virabhadrasana Variations

There are three variations of Warrior Pose. The first variation resembles the arrival of the warrior with weapons in his hands. The second variation resembles the pose of the warrior on seeing his opponent. The third variation indicates the pose of the warrior decapitating the opponent with his sword.

The pose mentioned above is Virabhadrasana 1. The other two variations are described below.

Virabhadrasana 2

Virabhadrasana 2
Warrior 2

In Warrior 2, the arms are stretched on the sides horizontally. The feet are 3 to 4 inches apart and in the lounge position. Unlike variation 1, the direction of the toes of the feet are in the opposite. The toes of the front leg face forward; whereas the toes of the other leg are in the opposite direction.

Virabhadrasana 3

Eka Padasana
Warrior 3

In Warrior 3, the left leg, trunk, head, and arms are parallel to the floor. Some people keep the palms in Anjali Mudra touching the chest.

Of course, balancing is a little difficult to achieve. Yet one can achieve it through regular practice. Pregnant ladies should avoid this variation because there is a risk of falling. This pose is similar to One Foot Pose.

Virabhadrasana Benefits

The following are the benefits of Warrior Pose.

  • It energizes the whole body. Moreover, it is good for overall fitness and stamina.
  • Warrior Pose strengthens the lower spine, shoulders, and leg muscles.
  • It increases the flexibility of the knee joints, hips, shoulder joints, and arms.
  • This yoga pose boosts the nervous system.
  • It stretches the upper chest and stomach region. As a result, it is good for health conditions like indigestion, constipation, and asthma.
  • This pose improves concentration, inner strength, and mental balance.

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