Rox Does Yoga

Yoga, Wellness, and Life

Pose of the Month: Warrior 2 May 23, 2011

Filed under: Pose of the Month,yoga — R. H. Ward @ 12:07 pm
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Warrior 2 - Back ViewPose Name:

Warrior 2

Sanskrit Name:

Virabhadrasana 2

Steps:

  1. Begin in mountain pose (tadasana).
  2. Step the right foot back and plant the heel. The distance between your feet should be about the length of one of your legs. Your left foot should face forward; your right foot should be at about a 45-degree angle.
  3. Open the hips to the right so that your body faces the right wall. Raise your arms to shoulder height, parallel to the floor (left arm forward over the left leg, right arm back over the right leg).
  4. Keep your right leg straight and bend the left knee deeply. Ideally, the left knee will form a 90-degree angle just above the left ankle. Don’t let the knee come out past the ankle!
  5. Turn your head to the left and gaze out over your left hand at an unmoving point in front of you.
  6. Keep the left leg in line with the body – don’t let the knee swing out to the side.
  7. Keep your spine straight and your torso centered over your hips. Press your weight not just into the front foot, but also into the outer edge of the back foot.
  8. Keep your breath slow, deep and even. Engage your abdominal muscles and focus on the breath.
  9. Come out of the pose by dropping your hands to the floor on either side of your left foot. Step the left foot back and into downward facing dog. Move through a vinyasa if you wish.
  10. Step the right foot forward to repeat the pose on the other side.

Benefits:

The warrior poses are excellent for building heat, strength, and stamina. Warrior 2 strengthens the thighs and the arms. It can relieve backaches and have a therapeutic effect for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Contraindications:

Contraindications include diarrhea and high blood pressure. Those with poor balance may want to practice this pose near a wall for extra stability.

My Experience of Warrior 2:

I like warrior 2 because it makes me feel strong. When I practice this pose, I feel balanced and rooted. It’s a pose that makes me feel confident and fierce like a warrior; confidence and fierceness aren’t exactly natural to my personality, so I love how warrior 2 brings these qualities out in me. Even on days when the pose is physically more challenging for me, it still inspires these positive feelings of strength, giving me the power to practice tapas and remain in the pose for longer. I like to practice warrior 2 in the mornings, especially on days when I have a big meeting or challenging project at work. Starting my day strong and fierce with warrior 2 helps give me energy and strength to last me through the day.

Warrior 2 - Front View

(Side note on the photos with this post: (1) I don’t know why my head’s tilted forward, but it shouldn’t be, I should be looking straight over my shoulder, and (2) my back leg actually is straight, I’m just curvaceous.)

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9 Responses to “Pose of the Month: Warrior 2”

  1. Honey Says:

    Another contraindication for Warrior is knee problems. I am not able to do lunges at all due to mine. However, I can do Goddess Warrior.

    I like seeing the pictures of you in the poses you’re talking about. Your facial expressions really capture some of their energy.

    • R. H. Ward Says:

      That’s a really good point. I was hoping to do some warrior poses with my dad, but he definitely has bad knees. I’ll keep it in mind and see how he feels.

      By “Goddess Warrior”, do you mean like this?

      Thanks for commenting!

      • Honey Says:

        I have heard that for some people with knee problems, incorporating a chair into the pose can help. Not sure how that works.

        Yes, I mean the latter of the two interpretations described in the website you linked. Many (though not all) folks with knee problems can do squats even though they may not be able to do lunges.

      • R. H. Ward Says:

        That’s really interesting! I wasn’t aware that there’s such a difference in tension/pressure on the knee between a lunge and a squat. I’ll have to remember that.


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