Warrior II aka Virabhadrasana II is a strong and powerful standing posture. It promotes strength, power and stability of both the body and mind. This basic pose is used as a building block for many other poses such as Half Moon, Triangle and Side Angle Stretch.
Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet together and arms alongside your body. Distribute the weight evenly in your feet. If you have a hard time staying balanced here stand with the feet hip distance apart and parallel to one another.
On an exhale, step your left leg about 4 to 5 feet in back of you and turn that back foot at about a 70-80 degree angle. You want your front heel to be aligned with the arch of your back foot. The hips face the length of your mat.
Bend the right (front) knee to 90 degrees so that the knee is directly over the ankle and the shin is perpendicular to the earth. The knee should be tracking over the second and third toe. Distribute the weight evenly through that front foot as you lift the inner arch and root down through the corners of the feet. The front toes are pointed forwards and are parallel with the front edge of your mat.
Engage the quad of the back leg. The leg should be straight without locking out the knee. Root down the outer edge of the back foot into the earth as you press into the big toe.
Bring a gentle engagement to your belly by drawing the navel in and up towards the spine. Lengthen your tailbone down towards the earth.
On an inhale, lift the arms to shoulder height, palms face down towards the ground. Relax the shoulders away from the ears and reach through your fingertips.
Soften your gaze over your front middle finger. Root down to earth as you lengthen up towards the sky. Notice if there is anywhere in the body or mind where you are gripping and see if you can use your breath to soften.
To get out of the posture, straighten the front leg, lower the arms and step your back leg back to mountain pose. Repeat on the left side.
- Stretches the legs, groin, buttocks and chest
- Improves digestion
- Therapeutic for flat feet, osteoporosis and infertility
- Promotes concentration, stamina and stability
- Hip, knee or shoulder injury
- Diarrhea or high blood pressure
- People with neck injuries should keep the gaze sideways as opposed to forwards