Celebrate the New Year with Exalted Warrior Pose

By Sara Clem, founder, Salveo Yoga

Move into the New Year with an open heart and a positive attitude with one of my favorite poses — Exalted Warrior, or viparita virabhadrasana. Also called Reverse Warrior, this uplifting yoga pose is also great for channeling strength and grace.

Benefits: Stretches the side of the body and the arms, opens the hips. Strengthens the lower body. It opens the chest and helps with mobility.

Before you begin: As with any pose, it’s important to warm up first before coming into this pose, especially as it has an element of back bending.

Why it’s powerful: You don’t have to do an hour-long yoga practice to get back to your center. A single posture, practiced with awareness and slow deep breathing, can change how you feel instantly. 

How to strike the pose:

  • Keep the right knee bent, turn the palm of your right hand upwards towards the sky.
  • As you inhale, lift your right arm upwards. At the same time, lower your left hand and slide it down your left leg.
  • Firm your shoulder blades on the back and knit your lower ribs in, slightly engaging your core muscles. Lift your chest as you come into a gentle backbend.
  • Let your gaze travel upwards with your hand if it is available for your neck.
  • Stay in the pose for up to 5 breaths.
  • Come back to Warrior 2 as you exhale.
  • Repeat on the other side.

Modify it: If this pose feels strenuous, you can make modifications by straightening both legs to take the pressure off that bent leg. Come back to the bent leg variation if and when you’re ready. Make sure you have a strong foundation in warrior 2 to find success and stability in this pose. Practice makes progress!

Keep looking up! 


About Sara Clem: An advocate of using yoga to achieve overall health and wellness, for over a decade, she has explored many yoga variations and enjoys blending different styles into a seamless program suited for everyone.

Sara is certified in Forest Bathing and believes “nature, mindfulness, and yoga movement all offer a natural bridge to health, happiness, connection, and calm, reflected in her programs.”

Additionally, Sara has long been bringing yoga to children of all ages. As a Certified YogaKids teacher, she feels kids are natural yogis, with their quick smiles, easy breath, and openness for trying new things. She encourages children of all ages and various interests to incorporate yoga into their daily lives.

“Yoga helps develop mindfulness for cognitive challenges and to promote strength and healing in their physical endeavors,” says Sara, whose classes nourish the body and the mind. Her laid-back teaching style reflects her belief that improving one’s health should be fun, energizing, and challenging.

Sara is the founder of Salveo Yoga and is a Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT200) (YACEP) as well as a Registered Children’s Yoga Teacher (RCYT) through the Yoga Alliance. She lives in Town & Country, MO, with her husband, two children, and two Goldendoodles. Click here to visit Sara’s website: salveoyoga.com.

And click here to take her class that’ll help relieve stress in just 5 minutes!