ESSENTIAL YOGA POSTITIONS PART X
Today we are unleashing the warrior within us and are looking at the strong and mighty WARRIR TWO pose!
Warrior two is often a part of standing vinyasa flows, as it can be beautifully incorporated into a dynamic sequence and is the perfect way to transition the body from facing straight ahead to the side. It is also a good starting point for follow up postures like REVERSE WARRIOR, SIDE ANGLE pose, as well as TRIKONASANA. You will commonly find this pose during the first part of a vinyasa class, where the aim is to building up heat in the body with a series of dynamic and strong standing postures.
Warrior Two Pose
Starting from TADASANA, mountain pose, on an exhale, step your right foot back, turning it to a 90° angle and start bending your left knee to come into a lunging position with your front leg. Always pay attention that your knee doesn’t go over your toes to protect the joint. You can try to bring your thigh parallel to the floor, but only go as far as you can – this takes a lot of strength in the quadriceps and legs. On an inhale, raise your arms parallel to the floor, actively reaching towards the sides, keeping the arms engaged, the shoulder blades down and make sure the palms are facing down. Your gaze follows your front arm while your torso is facing to the side. To help finding a correct alignment, it is important to engage both bhandas and keeping your tailbone tucked under. This allows you to keep your spine strong and straight without sticking your back out. Keep the posture for 3-5 breaths (or longer if you want to work on your muscle strength) and then release. Repeat on the other side.
Just like the other two warrior positions, the meaning of VIRABHADRASANA II is rooted in an ancient saga of the Hindu mythology. You can read more about it in our post about WARRIOR THREE, where you’ll find a short summary of the saga and how it relates to the meaning of the warrior positions.
WARRIOR I vs. WARRIOR II: It can get pretty confusing with all those different warriors in our yoga practice at times, right?
The most important difference between the first and second variation is the alignment of the hips: For warrior ONE you should focus on having your hips facing straight forward and your back foot at 45° angle to your mat, in WARRIOR TWO on the other hand, the hips are facing to the side, towards the long edge of your mat.
This position is very intense on your quadriceps and thigh muscles and with a regular practice you will definitely see increases in your leg strength and stamina You will also work on your arm strength and posture, as this asana promotes a healthy and strong spine and shoulder area. Warrior two is also believed to increase confidence and mental clarity.
We wish you a wonderful Wednesday and a lot of fun and endurance for your WARRIOR PRACTICE! If you have any further questions about this position or any other asana, please don’t hesitate to ask your ATHAYOGA teacher the next time you are in class, we are happy to help! See you soon on the mat.
your ATHAYOGA TEAM