Step 1: Stand in Tadasana, exhale and get your legs 4 to 5 feet apart.
Step 2: Move left foot 90 degrees to the left and right foot 30-40 degrees to the left as well. Heels are fixed on the floor and toes relaxed.
Step 3: Inhale, raise your arms up and above your head; exhale and bring your arms parallel to the floor; move your arms at the back so that the shoulder blades come close to each other.
Step 4: Bend your left knee; left knee is in line with left ankle; left thigh is parallel to the floor; keep your knee soft & stress free. Knee should not go beyond 90 degrees
Step 5: Turn your head to the left; maintain the posture for 20 seconds with normal breathing.
Step 6: Release in reverse order and repeat with your right leg.
Variation – 1 (Virbhadrasana II)
- Get into Virbhadrasana II as instructed above, stretch your arms at the back and interlock your fingers.
- Maintaining the stability of the core, thigh & hips, push the interlocked fingers down towards the floor; your hips and core are engaged and at the same time, chest is raised up.
- Hold this posture for 20 seconds with normal breathing.
This posture apart from providing the above benefits will also help improve your lunge capacity.
Variation – 2 (Virbhadrasana II)
- Get into Virbhadrasana II
- Exhale and slide your right hand on the right leg and get a grip on your right leg at the point you cannot slide your right hand further.
- Inhale and raise your left arm up above your head as if you are trying to touch the ceiling and then drop it towards the right while at the same time maintaining the stretch throughout the body.
- Turn your head and look at the ceiling with normal breathing.
- Hold for 20 seconds, come back to normal position in reverse order and repeat at the other side.
These are the general characteristics of almost all the asanas described below (except Virbhadrasana I)
- There is 90 deg.of flexion of the left knee and left thigh and full extension of the right knee and right thigh.
- The arms abduct (arms going away from the mid part of the body)
- The right thigh rotates outward (tendency has to rotate inward), left thigh is brought parallel to the floor
- The neck and head rotates
- This posture stretches and strengthens the lower extremities, especially the hip flexor and the knee extension. Firmness brings stability and suppleness does the job of shock absorption. Both of these characteristics are required for runners to perform better on the road as well as prevent injury.
- Flexed left thigh is working on developing a strong quadriceps (thigh), thereby protecting the knee. Knee injury is very commonly associated with running. This asana will help prevent knee injury.
- Apart from developing muscular strength, it also develops full range of motion for flexion and extension thereby allowing lot of movement, which otherwise limits running endeavor. The whole process helps increase stride length for runners in particular. The inner thigh stretch also builds strength isometrically.
- A well-balanced pelvis helps prevent back pain and running becomes a back pain free experience.
- Core and hips work as stabilizers, important components for being a better runner and again preventing unnecessary injuries.
- Comprehensive Benefits: Virbhadrasana II is one of the strength building asana. It develops strong and shapely legs; relieves cramps in the calf and thigh muscles; brings elasticity to the legs and back muscles; supports the health of the knee; helps correct abnormalities in the legs like flat foot etc. which also may be one of the causes for IT band issue.