Yoga Pose of the Week: The Humble Warrior Pose (Baddha Virabhadrasana)
Whether you recognize this Baddha Virabhadrasana as Humble Warrior, or by any of its other pseudonyms (Devotional Warrior, Bound Warrior, or Silver Surfer), modern yogis everywhere bow down to this hip and heart opening pose!
Here’s how to do Humble Warrior Pose:
Unlike the far-reaching dristi practiced in Virabhadrasana I, II, and III, Baddha Virabhadrasana reminds us to humbly look inward and value the moments of introspection. Even the words “humble” and “warrior” can seem like a contradiction, but only through humility and beyond can we truly know ourselves. Not to mention that tremendous groin stretch. Talk about humbling!
Getting Into the Pose
- Begin in Warrior I with the right leg in front.
- Gently step your front foot one to two steps over to the right with your toes slightly turning right to keep the groin open and protect your knee.
- Interlace your fingers behind your back. Inhale to expand your chest and lungs.
- As you exhale, continue to keep your heart open and gently bow forward. Your right shoulder may lovingly nudge your right leg even further to the right as you release your pelvis and drop deeper into the pose.
As you exit this pose, stay mindful that this deep stretch places potential stress on the knee and lower back if you stand up too quickly. Make sure you gradually straighten the right leg and keep yourself grounded with your back leg as you rise.
Pause in Warrior I for a few breaths before switching to your left side.
If you have lower back, hip, or knee pain, you can modify by starting in a Crescent Lunge. This will make balance more challenging, though.
Lizard Pose is also a nice alternative if you have neck issues. You can keep your back knee on the ground in a Low Lunge, placing both hands inside the front foot.
The Power of Receptivity
When you trust this pose and let yourself surrender, you release any need to grasp and control, and you may just experience a glorious floating sensation. Gravity can pull harder the more we resist, but Humble Warrior teaches us to honor this powerful force and learn from it.