Warrior 1 Pose
March 27, 2015
Wheel Pose
March 26, 2015

Warrior II Pose

LEVEL

Anatomy

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Pose Type

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Sanskrit

Virabhadrasana II
(VEER-ah-bha-DRAS-anna)
Virabhadra = a powerful warrior who
arose from Shiva's matted locks

BENEFITS

  • Strengthens the arms, legs, shoulders, and back
  • Stretches the hamstrings, calves, ankles, and shoulders
  • Relieves sciatica, flat feet, and backache
  • Tones the abdominal organs
  • Creates sense of strength and confidence

CONTRAINDICATIONS

  • Leg, knee, hip, or shoulder injuries
  • Diarrhea
  • Weak heart or weak constitution
  • High blood pressure

HOW TO

  1. Begin standing in Mountain pose. Step your feet about 4 to 4 1/2 feet wide. Turn your right toes out 90 degrees to the right. Turn your left toes inward slightly.
  2. Inhale and bring your arms to shoulder height. Face your palms toward the floor.
  3. Exhale and bend your right knee until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Make sure that your right knee is not beyond your right toes. Press through your right heel and the outer edge of your left foot.
  4. Draw your tailbone down and your pelvis inward; then lift your ribcage away from your hips to lengthen your spine. Reach through your fingertips and gaze past your right shoulder.
  5. Stay in Warrior II for up to a minute, while taking deep breaths. Inhale and straighten your right leg; then exhale and release your arms. Step your feet together. Change sides.

MODIFY OR REPLACE

Alternatives:

Modifications:

  • Depending on your height, you may need to step your feet wider or closer together.
  • Gaze forward to reduce any strain in the neck.

SEQUENCING TIPS

Before:

After:

TEACHING CUES

  • Align the front knee over the ankle.
  • Anchor the outer edge of the back foot to the ground.
  • Draw the shoulders down.
  • Tuck the tailbone under.

VARIATIONS

  • Widen the stance and bring the front thigh completely parallel to the ground.
  • Face the palms toward the sky and draw the shoulders down the back.

WATCH OUT FOR

  • Torso leaning to either side
  • Front knee beyond the ankle or splaying to either side
  • Outer edge of the back foot lifted from the floor
  • Overarching the low back
  • Shoulders hunched