What is Reverse Warrior Pose?
Practiced as a reverse pose to Warrior Two, Reverse Warrior Pose also helps build strength and balance. It activates the earth element while stretching and strengthening the back, hands, shoulders, legs and ankles. It is also effective in strengthening the muscles and nourishing connective tissue in these regions.
Position type: Standing lunge
Posture type: Strengthen
Ideal for: Strength
Targets: Legs, back, arms, shoulders
Pose level: Intermediate
How to prepare for Reverse Warrior Two?
Legs and Core strength
To prepare for Reverse Warrior Pose, start with practicing Warrior One, Warrior Two, Extended Side Angle Pose and Triangle Pose. These postures will help build leg and core strength, and improve stamina. You will gradually find that you can hold the posture for longer, and are able to achieve better alignment. Other postures helpful for Reverse Warrior Pose are the swaying palm tree pose, standing spinal twist, chair pose and the boat pose. Surya Namaskar practiced at a medium to fast pace is also good for strength building.
Balance and flexibility
Building balance and flexibility will help you practice the Reverse Warrior Pose with ease. Being in a lunge pose, the better your balance, the deeper you can go in the posture. To prepare, you can start with practicing the standing forward fold, garland pose, low lunge, high lunge, tree pose and eagle pose.
How to do Reverse Warrior Pose
Getting into the posture
- Come into the Warrior two pose (Virabhadrasana) with the right knee bent and left leg stretched out behind you.
- Turn the palm of the right hand to face the ceiling. Inhale, lift the right hand up to face the ceiling.
- Lower the left hand such that it slides down your left leg.
- Keep the shoulders firm and core engaged.
- Raise the chest slightly such that you come into a gentle backbend.
- Gaze upwards, towards the right hand.
- Stay here for a few deep breaths.
Getting out of the pose
- To come out of the pose, lower the right hand and come back to Warrior Two.
- Repeat the asana on the other side.
Key Alignments in Reserve Warrior Pose
- Lift the chest up and spread the collar bones rather than focusing on bending too much.
- Ensure that your knee is stacked above the ankle. It is common for the knee to fall forward or backward of the ankle. By stacking it above the ankle, the knee remains safe.
What are the benefits of Reverse Warrior Pose?
The Reverse Warrior Pose is a gentle backbend that also opens up the chest region and the sides of the body. It releases tightness and tension in the intercostal muscles around the ribs, encouraging better breathing patterns. The posture stretches and strengthens the legs, including the thighs, hips, calves and ankles. Mobility, flexibility and balance also improves.
What are the contraindications of the Reverse Warrior Pose?
Anyone with recent or chronic injuries to the legs, hips, back or shoulders should avoid the asana. For those with knee pain or a knee injury, back pain or spinal injury, and anyone recovering from a muscle strain, it is best to avoid the posture until the pain has subsided. Anyone with heart problems or high blood pressure should avoid the posture. In cases of neck issues, or if you feel unsteady in the pose, one can look down towards your back foot instead of up to your raised hand.
Counter poses for Reverse Warrior Two
Practice Standing Forward Fold pose or sit in Dandasana for a few minutes to rest the legs and back.
Variations of the Reserve Warrior Pose
- You can try the posture by keeping both legs straight.
- Make a slight curve with the right hand over the head and left arm across the front of the body.
- You can also create a slight twist and deeper chest opener bh sweeping the left arm behind the body (try reaching the top of the right though).
Advice for beginners
Keep your focus on building stability and alignment. Try to build the pose from ground up by spreading your weight through the four corners of your feet. This will help maintain lightness in your spine too.
Shvasa tips for Reverse Warrior Pose
- Ensure your knee is stacked above the ankle and not falling forward or backward.
- Keep your focus on lifting the chest and spreading the collar bones.
- Learn to practice live with a teacher so you are able to harmonize with your breath to make the impact of the pose more powerful.
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