Humble Warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana) Step-by-step

Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana) - Sharp Muscle
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Updated: April 5, 2023

The Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana) is an advanced form of Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), with the distinction that this pose bends forward with the hands in a band (lock).

This yoga pose is considered one of the most challenging warriors for many yoga practitioners. Unlike other warriors who open us to the world, this forward turn variation allows us to draw our attention inward. On a physical level it brings a deeper stretch to the hamstring, creating more room for the hips to open. It tones and tightens your hamstrings, quadriceps, calves, abdomen, glutes and back while pulling and opening your shoulders, chest, arms and hips.

Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana) is a good preparation for Lizard Pose and Hanumanasana/Splits Pose. It builds body-mind awareness and instills introspection and a sense of ground level. This yoga asana encourages a feeling of vulnerability, humility, acceptance and devotion to a higher power. Leaning deeply towards the earth supports the surrender of pride, judgment and expectations.

Leaning forward in a bound, this yoga pose requires awareness of the hips, shoulders, knees, lower back, and pelvic joints to help them stay in balance with flexibility. At the spiritual level, it helps to draw attention inward, while teaching students to surrender to the higher power or the divine.

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Hindu Mythology

According to Hindu mythology, Virabhadrasana was a fierce warrior created by Lord Shiva. Hence the name Virabhadrasana, which is prevalent to bring strength, stamina, stability and balance. In Hindu mythology, all variations of Virabhadrasana are named for Virabhadra, a fierce warrior. His power inspires this series of poses. But there is also a humble side of Baddha Virabhadrasana, as inwardly focused in imitation of bowing to the divine. As such, it promotes acceptance of body and mind.

Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana) is believed to open the Swadisthana Chakra, which controls abundance, pleasure, well-being, creativity, and sexuality. It also stimulates the Sahasrara Chakra, which connects the practitioner with divine energy and the higher self.

Information

Known as:Baddha Virabhadrasana, Humble Warrior Pose, Bound Warrior Pose, Devotional Warrior Pose
Sanskrit name:बद्ध वीरभद्रासन
IAST:Baddha Vīrabhadrāsana
Level:Advanced
Pronunciation:bah-dah veer-uh-buh-drah-suh-nuh
Type:Forward-Bend, standing
Total time:30 to 60 seconds
Drishti:Forward;
At the floor
Chakra:Vishuddha Chakra, Manipura Chakra, Swadisthana Chakra, Muladhara Chakra
Indications:Abdominal organs, spine, thyroid and parathyroid glands, carpal tunnel syndrome, stress, depression and anxiety
Counterposes:Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend Pose), Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose), Balasana (Child’s Pose), Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose), Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-The-Wall Pose)
Preparatory poses:Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose), Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose), Trikonasana (Triangle Pose), Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
Follow-up poses:Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose), Matsyasana (Fish Pose), Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose), Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose), Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Contraindications:Knee injury, Pregnancy (after the first trimester), Low blood pressure—keep your head above your heart

Benefits of Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana)

The following physical and mental benefits are listed with the practice of this challenging yoga pose:

  1. Physical Benefits:
    • Tones the abdominal organs
    • Lengthens the spine
    • Strengthens the thighs, calves, and feet
    • Stretches the sides of the body
    • Opens the hips
    • Opens the chest
    • Strengthens the ankle, knee, and hip joints
    • Stimulates the thyroid and parathyroid glands
    • Helps alleviate symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome in wrists and forearms
    • Improves balance
  2. Mental Benefits:
ALSO READ:  Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Extended Side-Angle)

Step by step Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana)

  1. Stand in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) keep your feet parallel and hip width apart.
  2. Keep your feet apart. Bend your left leg, bend your right leg, and bend your torso to the right. Square your hips and hold your hands together.
  3. Inhale, lengthen through the sides of your body, pin the head of your arm bones back, and pull your shoulder blades to your back. Exhale, bend your right knee, and place your torso on top of your right leg. Extrude from the origin of your pelvis through the crown of your head.
  4. While exhaling, tilt your torso forward between your legs, and bring your head closer to the floor. Attach the band of muscle above your left leg to maintain straightness. Place your shoulder blades on your back and pull your arms towards the ceiling. Anchor the inside edge of your right leg and pull from your foot to the core of your pelvis.
  5. To release, drag your feet towards each other. Inhale and return to standing. Repeat on the other side.

Contraindications

Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana) is a powerful standing posture that is a combination of forward bending as well as balance. To avoid injury to yoga practitioners, precautions should be kept in mind while practicing this yoga asana. There are differences for the following:

1. High blood pressure and heart disease

Since breathing can be restricted when trying to bend the body forward and keep it in balance, it is advisable for physicians with hypertension, heart disease, and vertigo to avoid this yoga pose.

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2. Injury and surgery

With the practice of Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana) all the joints and muscles of the body feel very stretched. Therefore, if individuals are suffering from injury to any part of the body, or are recovering from recent surgeries, they should avoid practicing this yoga pose. There are chances of injuries to the shoulders, wrists, neck, hips, knees, lower back, ankles, feet, pelvis, etc., so this yoga practice should be avoided.

3. Lower back pain and arthritis

Individuals who have lower back pain are severe, or people with arthritis should avoid practicing this yoga pose to avoid swelling or inflammation of the muscles, ligaments, or tissues of the area concerned.

4. Pregnant women

Women who become pregnant should avoid the practice of this yoga pose with deep stretches of pelvic floor muscles and pressure in the abdominal area, which will cause discomfort with breathing affecting the fetus.

5. Slip disk, cervical spondylosis and spondylolisthesis

Individuals recovering from a herniated disc from cervical spondylosis or spondylolisthesis should avoid the practice of Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana), as the neck is bent forward, along with a stretch in the spinal muscles.

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