Warrior II is one of the first standing poses I learned. I cannot say that this is a favorite pose since I always have a hard time maintaining the right alignment. In particular, there are so many things to keep in mind and because of this, I am constantly correcting myself whenever I come into this pose. Things that keep me preoccupied are:
- heel to heel or heel to instep alignment
- front knee over the ankle, not past and not falling to the side!
- forward thigh parallel to the floor
- outer heel of back foot needs to root deeply into the floor
- hips face forward much like headlights (this, for me, is the most difficult part)
I have yet to feel comfortable in this pose. Also, I need to keep working on the hips so I can come deeper into the pose and have my front thigh parallel to the floor. Then perhaps I can count this as a favorite pose.
Step by Step Instructions by Esther Ekhart:
- From Tadasana
- Take a big step back with your left leg.
- Right foot turned out to the top of your mat, left foot turned slightly in (same direction as the right foot) about 45/60 degrees .
- Stand with straight legs, press 4 corners of feet into the floor, firm your legs up.
- Inhale as you raise your arms parallel to the floor, keeping the shoulders down and neck long.
- Exhale as you bend the right knee, keeping your knee over ankle, not past! Bring your right thigh towards parallel to the floor. Sometimes it is necessary to adjust the legs, and bring them further apart. Heel to heel alignment.
- Check the alignment of your right knee, right over the ankle and it should be in line with the first 2 toes, roll top of thigh down towards floor on the right. Press down through the big toe to balance that action. Press top of left thigh back, and ground the outside of the left foot into the floor.
- Sides of hips firm in and elongate through the four sides of your spine evenly. Draw your abdomen gently in and up. Diaphragm soft.
- Extend through collarbones, through fingertips, and elongate evenly through the four sides of the neck.
- Look out over the right arm.
- your body should be in a right angle with the floor. Shoulders over hips.
- To come out, press into your feet and on an inhalation straighten the leg.
- Change the orientation of the feet to the other side, and repeat on the left side.
- Opens hips
- Stretches inner thighs, groins, chest, lungs and shoulders
- Strengthens legs
- Correct painful conditions around sacrum
- Increases stamina
- Warrior II Pose – Virabhadrasana II (amindfulmantra.wordpress.com)
- Two Classic Standing Yoga Poses for Strength & Focus (thehealthink.com)
- Recipe for a Happy Warrior II. (elephantjournal.com)