Reversed Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)

Type: Standing pose
Level: Beginner

From mountain pose, take a big step back with your left leg so that your left foot is parallel to the back of the mat. The body faces side-ways on. Bend your front knee and thigh and keep the knee over the ankle to stop it collapsing inwards. Keep the weight in the front heel and big toe and the back foot is pressing from the outer edge. The arms spread wide away from the body to start off in Warrior II, then reach up and over the head with the front arm and slide the back arm down towards the back leg. This then results in a stretch through the side body. The legs stay in exactly the same position as Warrior II and the movement comes from the upper body.
Stay in the pose 5-15 breaths. Come back into Warrior II and then come out of the pose on an inhalation, pressing your back foot as you straighten the front leg and lower the arms. Then step the back foot forward to return to mountain before performing the pose on the other side.

Props & Assistance:
It can be difficult to keep the back foot grounded so you could position yourself near a wall and concentrate on keeping it grounded by pushing it against the wall.

Preparatory poses:

  • Warrior I
  • Warrior II
  • Mountain
  • Bound angle
  • Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose
  • Extended triangle
  • Tree

Follow up poses:

  • Warrior I
  • Warrior II
  • Mountain
  • Wide-legged forward fold
  • Extended triangle
  • Tree


  • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
  • Stretches the groins, shoulders, chest and lungs
  • Stimulates abdominal organs
  • Increases stamina
  • Relieves backache, especially through second trimester of pregnancy
  • Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica


  • Diarrhea
  • High blood pressure
  • Neck problem – look straight ahead
  • If you are thinking of starting yoga and have a medical condition, it is advisable to check with your doctor

Written by Sarah Williams. Sarah is a Qualified Yoga Teacher based in London with an online presence on Instagram and Facebook. She also blogs about yoga and health & well being topics on her website. Sarah’s focus is Vinyasa Flow, Hatha and Ashtanga styles of yoga and she completed part of her yoga teacher training in India ., @sarahlucyyoga

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