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Reverse Warrior – Viparita Virabhadrasana

Pose Summary

Reverse Warrior aka Viparita Virabhadrassana opens up the side body while strengthening the lower body. It is important to keep the front knee at 90 degree angle in this posture.

Yoga Collective - Reverse Warrior – Viparita Virabhadrasana


Step 1

Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet together and arms alongside your body. Distribute the weight evenly in your feet. If you have a hard time staying balanced here stand with the feet parallel and hip distance apart.

Step 2

On an exhale, step your left leg about 4 to 5 feet in back of you and turn that back foot at about a 80 degree angle. You want your front heel to be aligned with the arch of the back foot. 

Step 3

Bend the right (front) knee to 90 degrees so that the knee is directly over the ankle and the shin is perpendicular to the earth. The knee should be tracking over the second and third toe. Distribute the weight evenly through that front foot as you lift the inner arch and root down through the corners of the feet.  The front toes are pointed forwards and are parallel with the front edge of your mat.

Step 4

Engage the quad of the back leg. The leg should be straight without locking out the knee. Root down the outer edge of the back foot (pinky toe side) into the earth as you press into the big toe mound. 

Step 5

The hips are facing the length of your mat. Bring a gentle engagement to your belly by drawing the navel in and up towards the spine. Lengthen your tailbone down towards the earth. 

Step 6

On an inhale, lift the arms to shoulder height, palms face down towards the ground. Relax the shoulders away from the ears and reach through your fingertips. This is Warrior II. 

Step 7

On an inhale, reach the right arm forward as much as you can keeping the lower body in place. 

Step 8

On an exhale, reach the right arm up towards the sky and then back. Drop the left hand to the back of the left thigh. 

**You shouldn’t be putting too much weight onto the back thigh with your hand.  It should be used more for a guide and stability.

**There is a tendency to collapse this pose and dump into the left hip crease and bend back.  Try to keep space in the hip crease by lifting the torso up and then lengthening the side body and stretching it long.

Step 9

Tilt your head gently up and soften your gaze over your front middle finger. 

Step 10

The legs remain as they were in Warrior II. Your are rooting down to earth as you lengthen up towards the sky

Step 11

To get out of the posture, bring the torso back to perpendicular with the earth, straighten the front leg, lower the arms and come back to mountain pose. Repeat on the left side. 


  • Strengthens and stretches the legs, groins, hips, and intercostal muscles 
  • Builds stamina 
  • Energizes the body 


  • Hip, knee, back, shoulder, or neck injury
  • Diarrhea or high blood pressure.