Viparita Virabhadrasana (pronounced vip-par-ee-tah veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna), also known as Reverse Warrior is a standing pose used in many vinyasa sequences. Although not an "official pose" it is helpful in transitions and works to open the side body and hips while strengthening the legs. Its name stems from the Hindu warrior, Virabhadra, an incarnation of the god Shiva. The word “Viparita” means “reverse” in Sanskrit.
Reverse Warrior has many benefits such as strengthening the quads, arms, shoulders, torso and neck while stretching the groins, hips and obliques; Although you open the chest in this pose the focus is on the side bend opening pose. This invigorating pose will help with improved circulation, increased energy and can be very supportive for the lower back if done correctly.
Common misalignments in this pose are sinking into the lower back or uneven hips which can cause an instability in the lower back. This pose should be approached slowly and with control and with steady practice a student will gain increases strength and flexibility.
1. Begin in Mountain Pose, Turn to the right and step both feet wide apart, about 4-5 feet.
2. Turn the left foot out 90 degrees, so the toes are pointing to the top of the mat. Pivot the left foot slightly inwards. The back toes should be at a 45-degree angle.
3. Raise the arms to the side to shoulder-height, parallel to the floor. The arms should be aligned directly over the legs and Dristi- gaze over the front left hand
4. Bend and align the knee directly over the ankle of the front foot. Sink the hips low, eventually bringing the front thigh parallel to the floor. This is Warrior II.
5. With the next exhale, drop the right (back) hand to the back of the left thigh. Lifting back thigh up into the hand. With the next inhale, lift the left arm straight up, reaching the fingertips toward the ceiling. The left arm should be in line with head
6. work in pose: Keep the front knee bent and the hips sinking low while lengthening through the sides of the waist. Keep lifting up and out of the lowe back by engaging lower belly in and up
7. Tilt the head slightly and gaze to the right hand’s fingertips and make sure to lengthen the back of neck