Virabhadrasana I is dedicated to the powerful hero created by Siva from his matted hair.
- Stand in Tadasana.
- Raise both arms above the head; stretch up and join the palms.
- Take a deep inhalation and with a jump spread the legs apart sideways 4 to 4 ½ feet.
- Exhale, turn to the right. Simultaneously turn the right foot 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right.
- Flex the right knee till the right thigh is parallel to the floor and the right shin perpendicular to the floor, forming a right angle between the right thigh and the right calf. The bent knee should not extend beyond the ankle, but should be in line with the heel.
- Stretch out the left leg and tighten at the knee.
- The face, chest and right knee should face the same way as the right foot, as illustrated. Throw the head up, stretch the spine from the coccyx and gaze at the joined palms.
- Hold the pose from 20 seconds to half a minute with normal breathing.
- Repeat on the left side as in positions 4 to 6, reversing all processes.
- Exhale and jump back to Tadasana.
All standing poses are strenuous, this pose in particular. It should not be tried by persons with a weak heart. Even people who are fairly strong should not stay long in this asana.
Benefits of Virabhadrasana I
In Virabhadrasana I, the chest is fully expanded and this helps deep breathing. It relieves stiffness in shoulders and back, tones up the ankles and knees and cures stiffness of the neck. It also reduces fat round the hips.