(Virabhadrasana II): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Beginner

Warrior 2 Pose

(Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior 2 Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Mountain pose (Tadasana) at top of mat. On an exhalation, take a big step back with the left foot, hands come to hips.

2

Right toes (front foot) pointed toward top of mat, left foot (back foot) parallel to the back edge of mat. Align heel of front foot with arch of back foot

3

Bend right (front) knee, stacking knee over ankle, thigh parallel to floor, rotated externally. Lengthen left (back) thigh, engaging muscles, grounding through outside edge of left (back) foot.

4

Hips are square to side edge of mat, low abs firm in and up, knitting front ribs finding length in the front, sides and back of torso.

5

Shoulders stacked over hips, inhale arms up over head, exhale arms parallel to floor, inline with shoulders, palms face down. Gentle Gaze over right (front) middle finger.

6

Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.

7

To come out of the pose, heal toe left (back) foot in to shorten stance, use the abdominal muscles to mindfully step back to Mountain (Tadasana) at top of mat, prepare for second side.

Variations/Modifications

  • Front knee behind ankle instead of stacked
  • Practice with back to a wall (balance issues)
  • Hands on hips (shoulder injury)
  • Neutral head, gaze straight ahead instead of over front hand (neck injury)
  • Palms up

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Strengthens and stretches legs and hips
  • Improves balance and concentration
  • Opens shoulders and chest
  • Energizes the body and strengthens the will
  • Relieves lower back pain and sciatica
  • Grounding

Contraindications

  • Hip, ankle or knee injuries (Flexion or Rotation)
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Balance Issues (see modifications)
  • Shoulder Injury (see modifications)
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Neck Injury (see modifications)

Thoughtful Sequencing

Mountain (Tadasana), Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II), Extended Side Angle (Parsvakonasana), Reverse Triangle (Parivritta Trikonasana), Option to Flow through Sun Salutation (Surya Namaskar), meeting in Mountain (Tadasana). Repeat other side.

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