You Are a Warrior: Virabhadrasana II

In continuing with our focus on the warrior poses, today we are highlighting Virabhadrasana II, or Warrior 2.

While Virabhadrasana I helped us to feel strong and stable, Virabhadrasana II encourages us to embrace the challenge of expansion within that strong stability. It encourages fluidity and focus, as we extend the arms to our sides and turn our gaze out over the middle finger of the hand. This is very much a "take no shit" kind of pose.

What We Can Learn from Virabhadrasana II

Both on and off the mat, it can be challenging to experience sensations that require a strong foundation and expansion at the same time. Even a simple disagreement that makes us want to stand firm in our convictions, can leave us feeling closed off to the idea (expansion) that perhaps we could be wrong and the other person could be right. This pose encourages us to practice finding peacefulness and easy breath, even while rooting firmly though the feet and legs and expanding wide through the torso.

Proper Alignment for Virabhadrasana II:

Stand in Tadasana. Inhale deeply and jump the legs apart sideways to 4 - 4 1/2 feet. Raise the arms sideways in line with the shoulders, palms facing down.

Turn the right foot sideways to 90 degrees and the left for slightly to the right, keeping the left leg stretched out and tightened at the knee. Stretch the hamstring muscles of the leg led.

On and exhale, bend the right knee until the thigh is parallel to the floor, forming a right angle. The knee should not extend beyond the ankle, but be in line over the heel of the right foot.

Stretch out hands as though someone were pulling them from opposite ends.

Turn your gaze toward the right palm. Back of legs, the dorsal region, and hips should all be in one line.

Remain in pose for 20-30 seconds.

Repeat other side.

Modifications for This Pose:

Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Inhale and step your left foot back about 4- 4 1/2 feet. Raise arms out to the sides with palms facing down.

Turn the right foot 90 degrees to face top of mat. Turn left foot in slightly, keeping the leg stretched and engaged.

Bend the right leg toward 90 degrees and gaze out over the middle finger. Keep arms active, stretching them wide.

Remain in pose for several rounds of breath.

Repeat other side.

When have you experienced a time when you needed to be both firm and expansive? How can you take the lessons of Virabhadrasana II off the mat and into your every day life?

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