Warrior II, or Virabhadrasana (pronounced veer-ahb-had-ras-anna) II, is a strengthening pose that improves physical and mental endurance. Its ability to stretch your inner thighs while also expanding your chest and shoulders make it an excellent foundational pose. As well as being a strength pose, Warrior II also cultivates balance and steadiness; both mentally and physically.
Virabhadra = fierce warrior, incarnation of Shiva, the Adi yogi (first yogi).
Asana = seat or pose.
🌟 Philosophy & Origin
The yogic philosophy of sthira sukha, or balancing effort with ease, can be applied when practicing Warrior II. How can you harness your warrior spirit whilst not losing sight of your gentle nature and your commitment to ahimsa, non-violence?
🌟 Physical Benefits
Strengthens the shoulders, arms, thighs, legs and ankles.
Stretches the groin, thighs, ankles.
Expands the chest, lungs, shoulders.
🌟 Energetic Benefits
Activates and balances Manipura (solar plexus) chakra the seat of willpower, purpose and self esteem.
🌟 Step by Step
- Step your right foot to the top of your mat, and your left foot 3-4 feet behind you. Point your right toes straight forward, and your left foot almost parallel to the short edge of your mat. Draw an imaginary line from your right toes, to right heel, to left arch.
- Bend your right knee so it aligns over your right ankle. Press equally into both feet to create balance and stability.
- Square your shoulders towards the left (long) side of your mat and extend your arms out wide, parallel to the ground, palms facing down.
- Keep your torso upright, shoulders stacked over your hips.
- Turn your gaze to the fingertips of your right hand or alternatively, take your gaze straight ahead if you feel any neck strain. Practice Ujjai breath as you hold the posture; increasing hold time as you develop strength. Inhale to straighten your front leg and release the posture. Repeat on the other side, holding for the same length of time to cultivate balance in the body.