BENGALURU: This yogasan is the third variation of Veerbhadhrasan.
This is an advanced and beautiful balancing pose named after Veerbhadhra- a warrior. After an adequate warm-up, stand in Tadasan (upright mountain pose). Next bend your knees, raise your arms to the shoulder level and turn sideways taking a right angle with your right foot stepping wide and away from the left foot. During the turn, your feet will pivot to right. Your feet should be about five foot lengths apart.
(Option: From Tadasan you may also jump your feet 2 ½ to 3 feet apart taking a wide stance, this is your natural comfortable wide stance and the dynamic jump recruits your inner thigh muscles that are seldom used.)
● Turn your right foot out 90 degrees clockwise and point right toes to the right. Doing so will make your right knee turn to face the right too. Now turn the left toes clockwise 30 degrees to the right. An important point of alignment is that the right heel should be in line with the arch of the left foot. The torso has a tendency to turn, avoid that so that the shoulders and the pelvis continue to face forward. Maintain your shoulders above your hipbones.
● Inhale and raise arms to the shoulder level. With palms facing down stretch your arms sideways, integrate stretching with breathing- allow your shoulders to open up and stretch. Exhale and bend your right knee so that the knee is above the ankle. Right thigh will be almost parallel to the floor.
● Next turn your torso to the right so that you are facing the direction of your right toes and your shoulders are on either side of your right knee, your pelvis also facing right.
● Inhale and raise both your arms overhead. Keeping upper arms close to the ears, join your palms overhead as in Veerbhadhrasan I.
● Next exhale and lower the torso onto the right thigh with arms extended forward as shown in the picture. Hold for normal breathing for 2-3 counts.
● At the next exhalation, lean forward and lift the left leg off the floor while straightening the right leg. The right leg will be perpendicular to the floor and the left kneecap and left toes will be parallel to the floor. Hold the pose for normal breathing, all the while keeping the arms and raised left leg parallel to the floor and pulling in opposite directions. ‘Drishti’ (gaze) will be forward on the joined hands. Breathe normal and try to maintain the pose for 20-30 seconds or longer.
● Release the posture- raise your back to the upright standing neutral position, simultaneously lowering your arms to your sides and the left leg down to the wide starting stance, and turn to face forward again. Relax and rest here.
Switch and repeat on the other side. Turn the right toes anticlockwise in to 30 degrees and the left toes anticlockwise out to 90 degrees. Substitute left for right and assemble Veerbhadhrasan III on the left side.
Benefits: This asan gives you agility, strength and stamina for long working hours and for running while working on your body and mind. It improves your balance and poise. It improves blood circulation in the thighs, glutes and upper arms thus shaping and toning them by creating energy dynamics in the muscles and tendons. It also stretches as well as contracts the long muscles in your back and tones the abdomen as the stomach muscles are engaged to hold the torso parallel to the floor.
Anshu Vyas Seetharaman is a yoga and fitness trainer. She teaches Yoga at Sri Aurobindo Society,