yoga – reverse warrior

By Charlie Murray

Reverse Warrior, or Viparita Virabhadrasana is another of the standing warrior yoga poses. It’s a delightful way to strengthen a number of areas of your body including your major leg muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings) as well as your core (including your glutes, abdominals and spinal musculature). Likewise, Reverse Warrior can also help improve flexibility of the spine and hips, providing a nice stretch for your adductors and thoracolumbar fascia.

This asana shares it’s base position with Warrior II and varies the upper torso and arm positions accordingly.

Here are our tips.

First move to Warrior II

  • Stand with your front foot pointing to the front of the mat
  • Rear foot parallel to the short side of your mat, or turn in to a 45deg angle if you can’t achieve this
  • Line up your front heel with the arch of your rear foot
  • Weight distributed evenly between both feet
  • Keep the weight of your front leg loading through your heel to help engage the glutes of this leg, knee bent to 90deg
  • Remain active in the quads on your rear leg by lifting up and straightening through the knee
  • The adductors on your rear leg should come comfortably onto stretch
  • Arms extend in a straight line parallel to your mat (check your rear arm placement)
  • Reach long through the fingers but relax your shoulders
  • Gaze over your front hand

Next we’ll want to move through to Reverse Warrior

  • Slide your rear hand down the outside of your rear thigh
  • Reach upwards above your head with your front hand so your bicep is next to your ear, following your hand with your gaze
  • Remember to stay low through the front leg, keeping your knee bent and continuing to load through the heel.

When you’re ready to progress

  • Slide your rear hand behind and around your back, resting it onto the inside of the front thigh

As always, be sure to seek professional advice before attempting any yoga pose. Always be sure you’re having fun too. If you’re looking for instruction feel free to drop by our studio in Canberra for a class and a coffee.