A simple yet powerful pose for your legs and core for both beginners and advanced Yoga practitioners.
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) Step-By Step Guide (Two Ways to Do It)
You can do this either on a mat or standing with your bare feet on the floor.
Begin your Yoga practice by standing in a starting position. Many yoga poses involve the Mountain Pose.
Simply stand on your feet and keep your arms to the side. Try to spread your feet out evenly and keep your spine straight yet relaxed.
If you have trouble maintaining your balance, create more distance between your feet.
Spread your feet wide apart and make sure they are facing forward. The distance between your feet should be larger than the width of your shoulders.
This leaves a lot of room to experimentation. Some choose to put more distance between their feet, and some choose to put less. To pinpoint the sweet spot, experiment and figure out in which position you feel the most comfortable in while maintaining control of your own body.
Slowly turn your left foot outward by drawing a 90 degree angle. Your toes should point away from your body.
Then turn your right foot inward to help your body gain some stability.
While holding the pose, you will be working both your legs. Just start with the left one and then switch to the right one.
Raise your arms to the side while keeping them straight and pointing at either side of you. Aim your palms toward the floor.
Work to keep your arms in line with your shoulders. Turn your head and look towards your left hand while you try to keep your fingers straight as you would to extend and touch something.
Breathe slowly and bend your left knee as you exhale. Your upper leg should be parallel to the ground and your knee should be above your ankle.
Stretch your back as you gently extend your neck and lift your head. Continue the movements by relaxing your shoulders and opening your chest.
Hold this pose for at least 15 seconds.
Warrior II Method 2:
Start by holding the Downward-Facing Dog and place your foot between your arms while you lower the knee of the other foot on the mat.
Make sure your front heel and back heel are aligned, and use your fingertips and push them on the mat to gain some balance.
Next, place more pressure on the front heel and stretch your left thigh.
Shift the weight on your front heel and engage your thigh. Use your hands to refine the pose by placing them on your front upper leg, and stretch your back while lifting your torso.
Following this, use your hands to help your thigh lift itself little but while keeping your core engaged.
Make sure you do not put too much pressure on your front bent leg. Otherwise, you will find it really difficult to keep your back straight.
Inhale deeply and raise your hands up to shoulder level. Draw a straight line while holding them out and with your palms facing down.
Hold the pose for at least 15 seconds.
There are a few common mistakes most people make in the beginning, and they are usually caused by the fact that when we are starting out we do not have enough strength in our body to do it perfectly the first time.
The first mistake is not keeping your hips aligned with your legs.
This can lead to a lack of balance and mobility. Worse, it can even make you fall. When you first start practicing the pose, make sure you are not doing it alone or you have a mattress near you.
The second mistake is letting your front knee drop to one side or another. This can put too much pressure on your joints. While in the moment it might feel easier, you might experience some paint shortly thereafter.
The third mistake is the tendency of the torso to lean forward when you put too much weight on your front knee.
This is a natural reaction of the body, and while it does not lead to injuries of any kind, the Warrior II pose will be incomplete because when you lean your torso is easier on your core and back muscles.
I mentioned that is a natural reaction because the body does it best to avoid any strain on the muscles. But the purpose of the pose is to engage your core and torso.
Warrior II Modifications and Variations
As you probably noticed by now, the Warrior II pose is a part of a sequence of three poses that are meant to strengthen your body and help you find balance in your life.
At first glance, all of the three poses can look a bit challenging for beginners. However, there are ways to make it easier during times when you have a bad day or struggling with your balance.
Do not make any modifications to the pose itself, but change your position and hold the Warrior II near a bed or an inflatable mattress. If you do fall, you will not feel a thing.
If you mastered the Virabhadrasana II, you can challenge yourself by trying a more advanced variation of the pose: the reverse Virabhadrasana II.
To try this variation, simply put your palms on your hips to engage your core a little bit more. In this variation, your balance will be challenged more as well.
You can also pair Virabhadrasana II with another poses in a Vinyasa practice, including the Mountain Pose, Warrior I, Reverse Warrior II, Triangle, and Warrior III.
Warrior II Benefits
The Warrior II pose is great for strengthening your major muscle groups, including your upper legs and core.
Another benefit is the relaxing effects that occur after you learn how to open your chest and hips. Virabhadrasana II can be used in almost any Yoga routine since it helps you become more flexible and improves your balances. This makes it easier for you to hold other poses too.
Your digestive system, bones, and spine will also benefit from this pose, as it stimulates the root chakra and strengthens the back and upper legs.
After you mastered the pose, you can try to hold it longer, which can help you develop your endurance and build lean mass.
As with any pose, there are also emotional benefits that come with it. The tension in your legs, core, and shoulders help you build discipline and an ability to endure discomfort in any area of your life. By disciplining yourself to try things that make you feel uncomfortable, you can teach yourself to face obstacles in life without worrying too much about petty things.
Who Can Benefit from the Warrior II
If you you want to find out more about the spiritual dimension of the Warrior I, you might want to learn about how it impacts other aspects of your body and well-being through stimulating one of the chakra points in your body.
The Warrior pose is part of a sequence of asanas inspired by Hindu mythology. It is actually a symbol for warriors that Shiva used to avenge the death of his beloved wife.
The fight that we fight today is not against our enemies but against our own ignorance, our true enemy and the root of all unhappiness.
The Hindu myth is a warning for those who want to channel their anger by plotting revenge,. The ignorance of Shiva’s father-in-law caused the death of his daughter and Shiva’s blind anger caused a number of other deaths.
The moral of the story is to avoid the harm caused by our own ignorance.
The people who benefit the most from asanas that stimulate the root chakra are those who suffer from blood, bone, and digestive disorders, or those that have issues finding stability in their lives and getting their basic needs.
The name root chakra says it all. This energetic point deals with how grounded we are emotionally and how accomplished we are on a basic level.
You can benefit from the Warrior II pose if you are dealing with any of the following:
- Mental Health Issues
- Low-self esteem
- Difficulty taking decis
- Blood and bones disorders
If you think you fit the description, you will be happy to hear that any of the Warrior poses can help you gain more confidence and heal your body and mind.
Make sure that you consult your doctor if you had any previous back, core, or leg injuries, as the Warrior II pose will work all the big muscle groups intensely.
Chronic illnesses such as arthritis can also affect your performance, and if you have high blood pressure, you should avoid practising this pose.
The Warrior II pose can benefit pregnant women in their second and third semesters too. However, they should use props or ask someone to be around them in case they lose their balance.
Did you benefit from this article? Did I miss anything? Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated – please post in the comments and I will personally respond!
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