We’re really excited to introduce this new series on the blog: Yoga Pose Basics. Once a month, we’ll break down a yoga pose, explaining its benefits and all. This month, we’re taking a look at Warrior II, also known as Virabhadra (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna) II.
Correct form for warrior II
When setting up for warrior II, you want to make sure that your front toes are pointing forward and that your back foot is parallel with the mat. Either align your heels or align your front heel with the arch of your back foot—yogi’s choice.
Bend your front knee so that your thigh is as close to parallel with the floor as possible, but without extending your knee past your ankle. Keep your back leg straight and square your hips (so that they are parallel to the side of your mat).
Activate the muscles in your thighs as you tee your arms-one in front of you and the other behind. Keep them parallel to the floor, relax your shoulders, and gaze over your front hand.
You’ve nailed proper alignment for warrior II!
Benefits of warrior II
Warrior II helps to strengthen your legs, core, and arms while opening your hips and chest. It’s a grounding pose, helping you to develop your balance and concentration.
Warrior II energizes your whole body and is said to help improve circulation. It also strengthens your body-mind connection as you’re more aware of your body and it’s positioning, and it helps to ease any tension you may be holding. As you relax your shoulders and hold the pose, you may find that any tension you’re holding internally may release as well. This can bring about a sense of peace, which is only of my favorite things about warrior II.
The warrior poses are some of the most common yoga poses because many people can do them rather easily. They’re considered beginner poses, but they should be avoided if have a recent knee injury. Always ask your instructor how you can modify a pose and let them know of any injuries before class, if possible.