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Virabhadrasana II // Warrior II

Getting into the pose:

To come into Warrior II, start in Tadasana and take a big step out to the right – placing the right foot facing forward and the back foot parallel to the short side of your mat. Inhale to reach the arms parallel to the floor and then exhale as you bend into the front knee, creating a 90 degree angle, making sure the knee does not track over the ankle. The hips are facing to the side in this posture, as opposed to Warrior I where the hips are both facing forward. The gaze in this posture is to the front hand. (Note, I took my shoe off to rest my phone on to take this picture. You’re welcome.)

Common Errors in the pose:
Hunching the shoulders up near the ears – focus on creating space between the shoulders and the ears – creating length in the neck. Think about engaging the biceps rather than lifting the shoulder girdle. Another common error is allowing the front knee to roll in.  To check that the hips are opening outwards – take a look down at your front knee – you should be able to see your big toe on the inside of the knee – if not, gently draw the knee out, which encourages the femur bone (top of the thigh) to rotate outwards.

Benefits of the pose:

  • Builds strength in the legs and arms
  • Encourages an external rotation in the hip joints – preparing the body for deeper hip openers.
  • Builds lower abdominal strength as we draw the core in to gently drop the tailbone down.