Warrior II Pose  -Virabhadrasana II

Step by step

  • From Tadasana / Mountain pose take a big step back with your left leg, toes pointing slightly in. 
  • Press the four corners of your feet down, and firm your legs up.
  • As you inhale, raise your arms parallel to the floor, keeping your shoulders down and your neck long.
  • As you exhale, bend your right knee, keeping your knee over your ankle. If needed, slightly adjust the position of your feet and legs to find stability in the pose.
  • Roll the top of your thigh down towards the floor on the right. Press down through your big toe to balance that action.
  • Press the top of your left thigh back, and ground the outside of your left foot into the floor.
  • Draw your lower abdomen in and up and lengthen your spine. Extend through your collarbones and fingertips. Bring your chin slightly in and back to align your neck with your spine. Look over your right hand.
  • Stay in this pose for 5 breaths. To come out of the pose press into your feet and straighten your legs as you inhale. Switch the orientation of your feet and repeat on the other side.

Beginners tips

  • To prevent the front knee from collapsing inwards, wrap the muscles around the outer hip to externally rotate the leg.
  • To prevent the ribs from flaring out, engage the core and draw the tailbone down towards the mat, which also keeps the lower back long.

Benefits

  • Opens the hips and shoulders.
  • Stretches the inner thighs, groin, and chest.
  • Strengthens the legs, abs, and arms.

 

 

Watch out for

  • Gently draw your shoulder blades together, to keep your chest open.
  • Be aware of the opposite movements of the thigh bones in each leg: the front leg externally rotates (engage your outer thigh muscles to stabilize the leg) - the back leg internally rotates (engage your inner thigh muscles to stabilize the leg).

Variations

  • Experiment with moving in and out of Warrior 2: Straighten the front leg and raise your arms above your head, as you inhale. Bend the front leg again and lower your arms parallel to the floor, as you exhale. Try it for 5 to 10 rounds of breath.