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Warrior II

May 13, 2009
warrior II in the living room

warrior II in the living room

Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) is one of the strongest and most satisfying poses in yoga. The shape itself induces a feeling of power.  At once, you are rooted into the ground through a wide and steady architecture, extending up through the spine, out the crown of the head, and reaching both arms in opposite directions.  Everything about the pose is expansive.  It makes you embody the warrior. 

Proper alignment has the feet wide apart, front toes facing fwd, back toes angled towards the upper corner of the mat.  You should be able to draw a line out the back of the front heel directly towards the center of the back foot’s arch.  It’s important to root down through both feet entirely to give yourself the most stability possible, especially pressing the outside of the back foot down.  The back leg extends straight up and the front leg is bent at a 90 degree angle with the knee directly over the ankle.  Energetically draw the hips open so that you can look down the inside of the front knee and see your big toe.  Your weight should be evenly balanced between the 2 legs, with the torso extending straight up.  You don’t want to be leaning forward or backward, but rather, extend straight up the pelvic floor muscles (mula bhanda) through the spine, with energy reaching out the crown of the head.  The tailbone should be tucked slightly so that the curve in the lower back is neutralized and the stomach can engage and pull in and up.  The ribs should be relaxed into the torso, the collarbones spreading apart, and the shoulders relaxing away from the ears.  Dynamically, each arm should reach in opposite directions with energy extending out the fingertips.  The arms should be in one line, at shoulder height.  Lastly the gaze should be forward, over the front finger tips.     

Next time you are in this pose, work from the bottom up to clean it up.  Start with how you are connected to the earth and work from there to set up the architecture of the pose.  Continue to stay active in the pose and know that you there is always somewhere deeper to take each asana, even if it means super subtle adjustments that are barely visible on the outside. 

A more cleaned up Warrior II in the living room

A more cleaned up Warrior II in the living room

Notice how in the second picture I’ve taken a wider stance to more deeply open my hips.  My torso and shoulders are completely open to the side.  I tried to make my arms as energized and in line as possible.  There are still places for me to go deeper within this pose which is why yoga is such an amazing practice.  Keep working on the more subtler elements of your practice and watch your concentration and focus improve.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Rich permalink
    May 14, 2009 12:01 am

    yes! i like this idea of “pose of the week” or something. good explanation. also, warrior ii is one of the poses i usually mention when discussing yoga because it shows that i know more than just downward facing dog and of course warrior i!

  2. June 18, 2009 2:01 pm

    This is warrior – warrior II pose your front foot heel is not touching 😉

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