Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II

Etymology

Virabhadra = Warrior

Benefits

 

  • Strenghtens and stretches the thighs, calves and ankles
  • Stretches the chest, shoulders and groins
  • Stimulates the digestion and increases stamina
  • Relieves sciatica and backache.


Instructions

  • Start in Downdog;
  • Inhale, step your right foot forward in between your hands;
  • Spin your back foot flat to 90 degrees angle (ie, your back foot is actually parallel to the back of the mat);
  • Adjust your back foot so that your front heel bisects your back foot;
  • Front knee bent to 90 degrees and keep your front toes pointing forward (you might need to slide your back foot further back to reach a 90 degrees angle);
  • Check that your front knee is right over your heel (you should be able to see your big toe);
  • Inhale, push from the front heel to lift your torso up;
  • Raise your arms parallel to the floor. Stretch them out to the sides. Palms facing down;
  • Keep your back leg active and straight. Press your the outer edge of your left heel firmly onto the floor;
  • Keep your shoulders right above your pelvis and hollow your belly in;
  • Tailbone down;
  • Head turned to the right and look over your front hand. If any discomfort in your neck, look straight ahead instead.
  • To come out: exhale, release your hands to the floor and push back to Downward Facing Dog, and do the same with the other leg!

Variation for beginners

If your hips are really tight, you may shorten the distance between your feet, but keep your knee over your heel. After a while, your flexibility will improve.