Our Zamasana of the Month for April is the wonderfully powerful Reverse Warrior, or Viparita Virabhadrasana (say “vip-par-ee-tah veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna” – ‘viparita’ means reversed or inverted). Reverse Warrior, also known as Peaceful Warrior, is a variant of Warrior II, and helps the body to strengthen, stretch and open: strengthening the arms, neck and quads, stretching the hips, groin and obliques and opening the hips, chest and shoulders.
To practice Reverse Warrior:
1. Begin in Warrior II.
2. Flip your front hand so the palm is facing upwards towards the sky as your back hand travels down to your back leg, palm facing towards the ground.
3. On your next inhale, let your front arm extend towards the sky, keeping your hips and legs in the same position as they were for Warrior II, and feel a side body stretch as you reach your heart up to the sky.
4. Keep the deep bend in your front knee with your weight distributed evenly on your front foot. Keep your gaze towards your top hand, and your neck relaxed and long as you hold Reverse Warrior.
5. Return to Warrior II, then repeat on the other side as you move through your sequence.
Variations on Reverse Warrior include straightening both legs, or to intensify the shoulder-opener, bring your top hand to the base of your head so that your elbow is pointing to the sky as your bottom hand wraps around your back to the hip crease of your front leg.
Please be careful in this posture if you have any neck or spinal injuries, recent shoulder injuries, or high or low blood pressure.