Warrior II Pose or virabhadrasana II, is a foundational yoga pose that you’ll see a lot in a yoga flow class. This pose is great for strengthening the body, but also the mind, as it helps you to tap into your inner warrior. 

Benefits: 

Strengthens the legs, stretches the hips, chest, and shoulders. Stimulates digestion and helps with focus and balance. 

How to:

There are a lot of ways to get into Warrior II pose, but we’re going to come into it from downward facing dog. We suggest that you warm up before starting this pose–a few energetic vinyasas is a great way to prepare!

  1. Start in downward facing dog, Adho Mukha Svanasana. 
  2. Lift through your right leg into a 3-legged dog position, opening up through the hips and creating space in your spine. 
  3. Slowly bring that right foot and place it in between your hands. It may take a few wiggles to get that foot into place. Keep a bend in that right knee. 
  4. Rotate your left foot so you can place the foot flat on your mat with the side of your foot parallel to the back of your mat. Make sure that the right heel lines up with the middle of your back foot. 
  5. Bring the rest of your body up, keeping the bend in your right knee. Check to make sure that your knee lines up with your ankle–you might need to make some adjustments with your foot placement. 
  6. Make sure that your left pinky toes are pressing into your mat and that your left leg stays straight. 
  7. Tuck your tailbone under and avoid arching your back. Try to keep your hips more or less square with the side of your mat. For most people, your hips will not be 100% parallel and that’s ok!
  8. Bring your arms out in line with your shoulders, extending your fingertips long. Bring your gaze over your right hand. Avoid leaning into the pose by keeping your shoulders in line with your hips as much as possible. 
  9. Repeat on the other side. 

Modify it:

Bring your hands into heart center, especially if you are feeling strain in your shoulders. If balance is a challenge for you, bring your feet a little closer together and keep your hips a little higher, but still watch the alignment with your knees and ankles.

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