How to Do Warrior 1 Pose

Learn how to set up this foundational yoga pose with this step-by-step guide.

Warrior 1, or Virabhadrasana 1,is one of three Warrior poses in the practice of yoga. It’s also part of Sun Salutation B, a series of poses meant to warm up the body and prepare you for the rest of your practice.

With our easy-to-follow guide, you’ll be on your way to feeling steady and focused in your Warrior 1.


Stretches the hips, and can strengthen the legs and arms. Teaches focus.


  • From Downward Facing Dog, step your right foot forward. It should be planted firmly between your hands
  • Stack your right knee over your right ankle
  • Turn your left foot out to a 45-degree angle
  • Reach your arms up, lengthen your torso and stack your shoulders on top of your hips
  • Seal the border of your left foot firmly to the floor. As you do this, you will feel the muscles in your legs activate
  • Draw your right hip back. Drop your left hip forward. You should feel a stretch in the front of your left leg
  • Point your torso and hips directly forward

Your hands can rest in a variety of places. If you’re a beginner, try holding Warrior 1 with your hands at heart center or with hands on your hips.

For the traditional variation, reach your hands to the sky with palms facing each other. Relax your shoulders down your back.

Return to Downward Facing Dog. Repeat on the left side.


One mistake is curving your lower back. Avoid making a “C” shape with your torso. Instead, scoop your tailbone forward and draw your ribs in.

Ready to hit the mat? Give Warrior 1 a try by holding each side for a count of five to 10 breaths.

With the foundations of Warrior 1 established, move on to learning Warrior 2 and Extended Side Angle.