Learn how to practice and teach Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) with detailed anatomy and informed verbal cues to help you and your students enter and exit with safe alignment.
Sanskrit name: Virabhadrasana II
English translation: Warrior II Pose
ABOUT THE POSE
- Asymmetrical standing pose with axial extension
- Named for Virabhadra, a warrior of gods, first manifested as the wrath of God and later as a loyal servant
- Teaches the growing complexity of dynamic tension and the application of tapas to transform the body (e.g., strengthen buttocks, stretch groin, strengthen abdominals, lengthen lower back, strengthen back, open chest, improve posture, etc.)
- Teaches proprioception: Most of the work in this pose is not visible to the student, as the drishti is forward; students must rely on proprioception inner eye for feedback.
Practice And Teach Warrior II
INSTRUCTIONS FROM TADASANA
- Step or jump your feet wide.
- Pivot in your left foot and turn out your right foot 90 degrees. Align the inner edge of your right foot with the back of your left arch or inner heel.
- Press into your left outer heel and bend your right knee over your right heel, shin perpendicular to the floor.
- Rotate your right thigh outward to track your right knee toward the middle of your right foot.
- Rotate your left thigh outward and press your left thigh back to keep weight in your left heel.
- Drop your tailbone down to lengthen your low back.
- Reach through your arms. Keep your shoulders down and chest lifted.
- Look beyond your right fingers.
- To exit the first side: Straighten your right leg. Turn your feet forward.
- Repeat on the second side.
- To exit the pose: Straighten your left leg. Turn your feet forward. Step or jump your feet and hands to Tadasana.
- Feet not separated sufficiently to create tension
- When the eyes and movement go rightward, attention the leaves the left side (and vice versa). Work to maintain awareness on the left side as movement goes to the right.
- Slack back leg
- Rolling in on the front knee
- Swayed lower back
INTERESTED IN ADVANCED STUDY, OR BECOMING A YOGA TEACHER?