Reverse warrior pose is a deceptively simple exercise. Do it correctly and your back will thank you later. Lose your form, and you’ll be in a world of pain. Here’s what you need to know to ensure you practice your best personal Reverse warrior.
You just lift your arm and go up and over. How hard can that be?
When I first started practicing yoga, this was what ran through my head before almost every pose.
Sure, it looks easy enough. Everything does when a pro is doing it. The truth is this pose is harder than it seems, and it can seriously mess with your back if you don’t do it correctly.
This can mean anything from some small aches + pains to accidentally adjusting yourself right out of place.
Trust me. I have done both.
But, the good news is when you do Reverse warrior pose the right way, you won’t hurt your back. In fact, you’ll work some important pain-causing back muscles the right way so you feel better.
Maybe you’re wondering, How can Reverse warrior pose both cause and relieve back pain? That doesn’t make sense. Shouldn’t I just do a different yoga pose?
You need to do Reverse warrior pose. Here’s why.
How Can Reverse Warrior Pose Both Cause and Relieve Back Pain?
The secret to relieving back pain with exercises and yoga poses is to always do your exercise correctly.
The very best pain-relieving exercises confront your tight or weak muscles. They encourage them to become more supple or stronger.
However, if you are not paying attention to what you’re doing, it can feel like you’re adding unnecessary work to a muscle that is already ill-prepared. This basically causes your muscle to go on strike, refuse to work correctly, and cause pain.
So, when you decide to do a yoga pose to help your back feel better, remember that that’s your main goal while you move.
All that matters when you’re finished with your Reverse warrior pose is that your back feels better.
Which muscles are causing you pain? If you’re searching for more information about the muscles that could be causing your back pain, you have a few options. The erector spinae, iliocostalis lumborum, and quadratus lumborum are back muscles that are frequent mischief-makers. However, the internal obliques and external obliques also help you bend to the sides, so they’re worth a look, too.
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A Little History on Reverse Warrior Pose
Reverse warrior pose is also known as Viparita Virabhadrasana. This yoga pose helps the spine bend to the side in a movement called side flexion (or also lateral flexion).
In order to have a happy, healthy spine; you need to bend forward, extend back, rotate to each side, and bend to each side. Because there aren’t a ton of times where we bend to the side, spinal flexion exercises are a gem.
This is part of the reason why I am so emphatic about keeping Reverse warrior pose as part of your workout regimen. Just make sure to pay attention to your form.
How to Do the Very Best Reverse Warrior Pose
- Use ujjayi breathing by inhaling and exhaling through your nose.
- Stand at the front of your mat, and step your right foot back about 4 feet. Align your right heel or arch with your left heel. Make sure your left knee tracks over your second and third toes. Stack your rib cage directly above your pelvis. Reach your arms to the side and gaze over your left fingers. You should be in Warrior 2 pose (if that’s familiar for you).
- Lift your rib cage away from your hips.
- Let your right hand lower to your right thigh.
- Reach through your left hand as the arm raises, helping you reach up and over to the right side.
- Look at the inside of your arm or the palm of your hand.
- Hold and breathe for 5-8 breaths. Resist the temptation to let this pose crumple. As you breathe and soften, maintain the distance between your rib cage and pelvis. This will help prevent injury.
- To switch sides, lower your arms to Warrior 2. Straighten your legs, rotate your left foot forward, and rotate your right foot out. Make sure you have correct alignment for your Warrior 2 on the right side before you complete steps 3-7 for the right side.
- To finish, lower your arms to Warrior 2 and transition to your next pose.
Reverse Warrior Pose Video
Sometimes, it’s just easier to learn by watching and hearing someone instruct. If you learn best by hearing instruction or seeing something happen, this is for you. Here’s a video to talk you through how to do Reverse warrior pose.
Want to Learn More?
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