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Warrior 2 // Virabhadrasana II

(veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna)

Virabhadra = a fierce warrior

Warrior 2 is one of the most well-known poses in any yoga class. It makes you feel empowered and increases your stamina. This asana strengthens the legs, opens the hips and chest while deepening your concentration, balance and groundedness. This is an energizing pose. In the deep lunge and open arms of this Warrior Pose variation, there is a challenging intensity - a marked contrast to the images of yoga as a passive practice intended for relaxation.



How To:

Step 1: To find your center, begin by taking a large step back from Tadasana. Bending the front knee stacking it over the ankle, turning the back heel down to the ground and squaring your hips to the side. *Tip: Keep the front knee in place by tracking the big toe to the inside of your left knee. You should be able to see your big toe while your knee is bent.

Step 2: Press firmly into the pinky edge of your back foot. Draw your belly button towards your spine and square your shoulders over your hips.

Step 3: Reach arms out from front to back and extend long gazing over the fingertips. Drop the shoulders away from your ears. And finding one unmoving point in front of you to gaze at, take a deep breath.


Variation: Flip your palms to the sky while drawing the shoulder blades down your back, keeping those arms long and straight.


And like a Zen archer spotting the target, find balance within your focus by gazing intently but holding steady with softness. Feel the power of your energy radiating freely from your center our through your fingertips. Discover the balance between working to your full potential and completely relaxing. This is the perfect example of yin and yang, action and reaction, masculine and feminine.


Benefits:

  • Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles

  • Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders

  • Increases stamina and energizes the body

  • Improves circulation and respiration

  • Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of pregnancy

  • Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica

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