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Head to toe posture

Humble Warrior – Baddha Virabhadrasana

Today I taught my first strong flow in the 200 hours Teacher Training Course (TTC) that we’re running at Sampoorna Yoga, here in India. It was a bit of an emotional moment for me and Elena. She was one of my students at the Blauwe Parel, my former yoga school in the Netherlands, and is doing here TTC now in India. Doing yoga together brought back memories of the Blauwe Parel.

Good memories. We both loved the school. She as a student, me as teacher/owner. The problem was: it became too big. When I sold it, it was the second biggest yoga school in Tilburg. Big is no problem, running it was. I was working seven days a week, morning till evening. Teaching, doing administration, answering emails and doing voluntary work next to it. I didn’t had time to do my own practice anymore. It brought me further away from the (spiritual) path I had chosen instead of further on that path.

There were several solutions. I choose the hardest one. Selling it. Leaving a wonderful community behind and asking my students for forgiveness, because I was going to leave them in the hands of another school: Yoga Centrum Tilburg. The biggest one in town, with some of the best teachers in the area, but still I was taking away their save heaven. And mine, but I decided to do wat yogis do: wander around. Trying to be detached from all possessions, including a house.

Eager to learn more

The thing was: I was eager to learn more. For myself, but also to share. For me teaching yoga (the whole of yoga, not just asanas) has never been a job. I actually never have had a job in my life. I’ve always been luck to do what I love. To be able to share more and to be able to study more I wanted to be free and go there where I could find great teachers.

The trip brought me to Nicaragua, where I had the privilege to meet April Hyatt and Warren Ogden at Pure Yoga and train with them. I will never forget the special class with Warren. It started with a guided meditation. I think we did four poses after that, which took 45 minutes. I have never felt so ‘spaced out’ and happy after a class as after that one.

Inspiring teachers

Here in India I had the privilege to be in powerful classes guided by Nadine Sharkey, Rachel Berryman, Kate France and Michaela Westermark. They are among the most creative teachers I’ve ever met. The flow I was teaching today was inspired by the classes I’ve taken with them.

One of the poses in there is a pose I have hardly used in my classes before: Baddha Virabhadrasana – humble warrior; also known as head-to-toe posture (sirsha angustha yogasana). Creating this flow – based on the two biggest powers in the world: love and fear – I suddenly found all nice ways to transition in and out of it. It’s a surrendering pose, fitting in perfectly with the theme and the idea of stepping out of our comfort zone. At the same time it’s a beautiful stretch, working on multiple parts of the body, so from now on I think I will use it more often.

Getting into Baddha Virabhadrasana – humble warrior

  • Start in Tadasana
  • Exhale, step your right foot back in high lunge; left knee is above your left ankle
  • Inhale your arms up to complete your high lunge
  • Exhale, interlace your fingers behind your back
  • Inhale open your chest, looking up
  • Exhale bend forward, bringing your nose towards the toes of your front foot, with your head inside your right thigh You can place your back foot in a 45 degrees angle on the floor
  • Stay in the pose as long as comfortable
  • To get out lower the arms first, lift up the head and slowly come up. Re-center the body and repeat on the other side

Benefits of Baddha Virabhadrasana – humble warrior

  • Stimulates the nervous system and appetite
  • Removes abdominal complaints
  • Stretches chest and lungs
  • Stretches shoulders, neck and arms
  • Stretches adductors and hamstrings
  • Strengthens and stretches thighs, calves and ankle
  • Removes excess weight around the waist

Want more? Check out my library of yoga poses or do them with me on YouTube.

Source: 
Light on Yoga - BKS Iyengar 
Key muscles of Yoga – Ray Long 
Ashtanga – David Swenson 
Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha – Swami Satyananda Saraswati

The love or fear flow

(stepping out of your comfort zone)

Prone Savasana
-half frog (bhekanasana) – roll over right side – Visnu couch
Prone savasana
-half frog (bhekanasana) – roll over other left side – Visnu couch
Roll on back – knee to chest – spinal massage – roll up to sitting.

Roll all 4 – Wrist 1 – Thread through Needle R – wrist 2 – Thread through Needle L – wrist 3
Plank – chaturanga 3x
5x High lunge – WII – revolved warrior – lateral angle – lateral angle two arms R
5x High lunge – WII – evolved warrior – lateral angle – lateral angle two arms L
Vinyasa + 5 Down Dog push ups
Tadasana – DD – WI – Parsvottanasana – lift back leg – Revolved half-moon – baby grasshopper – half moon – WIII with prayer – Revolved side angle – Koudinyasana – plank –vinyasa
Tadasana – DD – WI – Parsvottanasana – lift back leg – Revolved half-moon – baby grasshopper – half moon – WIII with prayer – Revolved side angle – Koudinyasana – plank –vinyasa
DD – plank 1 arm

Utthita Lolasana – Prasarita Padottanasana I – Tripod headstand – bakasana – Hindi squat (malasana) – Bhekansana – Hindi squat – side crow R – Side crow L – plank – plank trio (incl. pursvottanasana) – vinyasa

Tadasana – Uttanasana – Plank – Chataranga 3x – updog, downdog – Lunge – humble warrior – Head to toe – humble warrior – head to toe – bound lateral angle – step forward in bounded uttanasana – lift leg in bird of Paradise – change bind in to knee to chest – dancer – tree – WIII – 5x handstand – WIII with knee to chest – Padangusthasana A – C – Tadasana

Tadasana – Uttanasana – Plank – Chataranga 3x – updog, downdog – Lunge – humble warrior – Head to toe – humble warrior – head to toe – bound lateral angle – step forward in bounded uttanasana – lift leg in bird of Paradise – change bind in to knee to chest – dancer – tree – WIII – 5x handstand – WIII with knee to chest – Padangusthasana A – C – Tadasana

Dolasana (prasarita padottanasana with swing left to right) – Goddess – Spider – Padottanasana IV – Sirsasana – Eka Pada Sirsasana – Sirsasana – baby crow or Karandavasana (lotus on upper arms) – Hindi squat – plank – vinyasa to DD – Dolphin – dips and abs – Pincha maryasana or dolphin dips

Dynamic paschimottanasana – twisted paschimottanasana – Bring leg in – Leg hug R – Bhujapidasana R – Ashvakrasana – Koundiyasana – chaturanga
Dynamic paschimottanasana – twisted paschimottanasana – Janu Sirsasana A R – Leg hug R – Bhujapidasana R – Ashvakrasana – Koundiyasana – chaturanga

Shoulder stand lifts – shoulder stand – Fish – Reclined paschimottanasana – savasana

2 Responses to Humble Warrior – Baddha Virabhadrasana

  1. Caroline 3 December 2015 at 09:02 #

    I am thrilled to learn of you being happy, but I feel a little bit compelled to share with you that I think it is a pity you make it sound as if you need to Travel, need to break out of jobs, bosses and silly lifestyle as the only way of becoming a yogi.
    Being a yogi has nothing to do With external factors but being able to find the silence And true love in your heart. It is a mindset. Love Caroline

  2. John Kraijenbrink 6 December 2015 at 08:03 #

    No body has to be on the road or has to follow my footsteps. I think everybody has to find his/her own path in life.
    I agree that being a yogi comes from within. To grow as a yogi one should have the right circumstances, the right surrounding. For one person that can be at home, for the other it’s being on the road. It all depends on the path somebody chooses.