Peaceful Warrior Pose - Shanti Virabhadrasana

Peaceful Warrior Pose - YanvaYoga


Peaceful Warrior Pose, Reverse Warrior Pose or Shanti Virabhadrasana (SHAN-tee VEER-ah-bhah-DRAH-sah-nah) is a strong lunge with a graceful backbend. We often use it as a transition or to link other poses together in our vinyasa practice.
The name of this posture is from the Sanskrit, shanti, meaning “peace”; vira, which means “hero”; bhadra, meaning “friend”; and asana, meaning “pose” or “posture.”
Shanti Virabhadrasana improves back flexibility, strengthens the legs, feet and abdominal muscles, opens the hips, lengthens the arms, torso and spine. If practiced mindfully, it can also help alleviate back pain.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in warrior two with the left foot forward.
Step 2
Turn the left hand toward the sky. Inhale and reach the left arm up and back, bringing the torso into a gentle backbend. Gaze upward.
Step 3
Drop the back arm so that it rests on the right thigh or calf.
Step 4
Breathe while holding the pose.
Step 5
Change sides.

Benefits and Contraindications


Improves the flexibility in the spine

Stretches the side of the upper body

Opens heart and smoothens the hips

Strengthens the leg muscles

Calms the nervous system

Improves balance


Knee or back injury

Neck issues

Balance difficulties

Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props for Beginners

Peaceful Warrior Pose is a great way to add flexibility to the spine and prepare the body for many other poses throughout your practice. Remember to take it slowly and never push your body to achieve a deeper backbend. Try these simple changes in the pose to find a variation that works for you:

  • If your hips are tight, shorten your stance and straighten your front leg to a degree that is comfortable as you work on gaining flexibility.
  • If you have a shoulder injury or if you are still building upper body strength, place your hands on your hips. Work on lifting your chest and lengthening your spine without over-straining your arms and shoulders.

Useful Tips

  • For beginners, keep your back hand on the upper thigh.
  • The more open you become in the side body, you can begin to move your back hand down the back leg.
  • Avoid placing your hand directly on to the back knee.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I hold Peaceful Warrior Pose?

You can hold the pose for as long as it feels comfortable, typically around 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat on the other side.

Can beginners do Peaceful Warrior Pose?

Yes, beginners can do this pose, but they may need to modify it by using a block or placing their hand on their hip for support. It’s important to work within your own range of motion and not push too far beyond your limits.

Are there any precautions to take while doing Peaceful Warrior Pose?

If you have any injuries or medical conditions that affect your knees, hips, or shoulders, it’s important to talk to your doctor or a qualified yoga instructor before attempting this pose. You should also avoid this pose if you have any pain or discomfort in your knees or hips. Always work within your own range of motion and listen to your body.

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Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

In love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. Iana is a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT) who has completed the 200-hour Yoga Teacher Training Certification by the Yoga Alliance U.S. In addition to that, she is constantly studying and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, yoga anatomy, biomechanics, and holodynamics.