This asana is a more challenging variation of the first Virabhadrasana, and primarily strengthens the leg muscles while also providing benefits to the back and abdominal muscles.
The name “Virabhadra” refers to a powerful hero created by Shiva from his tangled hair.
Here’s how to perform this asana:
- Begin in Tadasana and stretch your arms up, joining your palms together.
- Take a deep breath and jump to spread your legs apart at a distance of about 120 cm.
- Exhale and turn to the right, turning your right foot 90° to the right and your left foot slightly to the right. Bend your right knee until your thigh is parallel to the floor and your lower leg is perpendicular to the floor, keeping your left leg straight.
- Then, tilt your torso forward and place your chest on your right thigh. Take several breaths in this position.
- Exhale and rise up on your right leg, extending it fully while keeping your arms and left leg parallel to the floor, forming a “T” shape.
- Hold the asana for 30 seconds or longer.
- Return to step 2 and repeat the asana on the other side.
This asana targets the leg, arm, back, and abdominal muscles. It is challenging to perform and beginners should start by holding it for no more than 5 seconds. It is recommended to master Virabhadrasana I and II before attempting this asana.
The benefits of this asana include increased joint mobility, strengthened muscles throughout the body, improved endurance and balance, and elimination of fat deposits in the waist and abdomen. Additionally, the expansion of the lungs during this asana promotes full ventilation and the elimination of toxins from the body.
Note that this asana should not be performed during periods of disease exacerbation. If you’re new to yoga, it’s recommended to work with a qualified yoga instructor and consult with a doctor before attempting this or any other asana.