How to do viparita virabhadrasana, reverse warrior.
Stand in virabhadrasana II with the right foot forward and the front heel lined up with the center of the arch of the back foot, arms extended out to the sides. Exhaling, deeply bend the front knee until the knee comes just over the heel. Depending on your body, the knee may be behind the heel, but should never extend past it. When coming into viparita virabhadrasana, reverse warrior pose, the focus is often on giving the side of the body that is facing forward an intense stretch, but the pose can be deepened by lengthening both sides of the body simultaneously.
Reach back through the left arm. Lengthen the whole left side of the body back over the back leg. Allow the left hand to lightly rest where it falls on the left leg. Gazing out over the middle finger of the right hand, turn the right palm up and reach upward. The gaze can follow the hand up or the neck can stay relaxed with the head facing to the side. Come into the pose without levitating out of the deep knee bend. Once you are in viparita virabhadrasana, reverse warrior pose, think of lifting the right hip up and away from the thigh as you keep the knee deeply bent and aligned with the toes. Relax the shoulders, breath all the way down to your feet and enjoy.
Why viparita virabhadrasana, reverse warrior.
Dancing the way between virabhadrasana II and uttitha hasta parsvakonasana, viparita virabhadrasana, reverse warrior pose combines grace with strength. A beautiful transition between poses, reverse warrior feels great. It creates length through the side body and provides some much needed lateral flexion for the spine. Try breathing all the way through, from the armpits and chest to the hips, for greater opening and depth. With simple arm variations, you can release the lower back and the neck. Try reaching the top arm straight back down towards the knee with your neck relaxed to release tight neck and shoulders.
A few years ago, a dramatic series of events shook the very foundation of my being: I ended a relationship that I thought would last forever; my father died; and then my close friend and recent ex died suddenly of a stroke. In a daze, I moved back to Northern California to be near family. I stopped teaching for a short while, and took some time off to re-establish myself in the Bay Area. Like the phoenix, my old self had gone down in flames. A graceful rebirth depended upon my time on the mat, as much as on traditional forms of therapy and meditation.
Throughout the grief process, I kept on without question, often soaking my mat with tears. I am eternally grateful in particular for the teachings and inspiration of Ana Forrest. I completed Forrest Yoga Teacher Training just before my phoenix began to burn. My first teacher training was at the Yoga Works of old, with Maty Ezraty and Lisa Walford; other influences include Shiva Rea and Angela Farmer. I teach Forrest Yoga and Deep Flow, my own blend of yummy yoga flow. I’m a permanent student, love to learn and love the paradox of yoga – almost as much as I like chocolate.
Michelle Cordero teaches in Oakland, Berkeley and San Francisco.
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