Your Guide to Virabhadrasana II aka Warrior II

Aug/04/2021 / by KT Hall
warrior 2
Image credits: Dave Contreras via Unsplash

Ready to test your balance? Warrior 2 (or warrior II) pose may take time, however, it’s an active pose that can build muscles, increase your coordination, and improve your mind-body connection.

Exploring the Benefits of Warrior Pose II

Warrior 2 or Virabhadrasana 2, is a grounding and lunging standing yoga pose. Derived from the root words Vira (warrior), Bhadra (friend) and Asana (pose), it increases mind and body awareness as it builds stamina, power and strength.

In the 3 part Warrior beginner positions (1, 2, 3), the second stretches the back, arms, thighs, chest, groin and legs. Additionally, it expands the shoulders, chest wall as you stretch and extend the limbs like a great warrior.

An added benefit with Warrior 2 is an increased breathing capacity and more stamina as you work to maintain this pose. It tones and stabilizes your muscles and helps you work on rhythmic and controlled breathing.

Helping Beginners with Warrior Pose

Warrior 2 pose is sometimes seen as anatomically difficult because you have to maintain balance and work on breathing as your legs go in different directions. Hence, a great deal of concentration is required to focus on your front leg being bent while the back leg is straight. You also have to direct your pelvis to ensure it’s pointing forward and level.

While the pose is well-known, it’s often overlooked. However, this intense pose can help align your entire body. Give yourself time to practice and focus on your breathing with this Asana.

Other Grounding Poses To Learn

The Warrior 2 yoga pose is considered a grounding pose. Meaning, it’s an overall state of being that’s achieved with that particular pose.

Aside from Warrior 2 yoga pose, there are about 8 other different yoga techniques and poses that are considered grounding. Hence, you may want to work on these as they require both mental and physical clarity, alignment and balance. They include Alternate Nostril Breathing, Seated Cat-Cow Pose, Mountain Pose and Downward Facing Dog. Others to try are Triangle Pose, Tortoise Pose, Pigeon Pose and Corpse Pose.

How To Do Warrior 2 Correctly

With Virabhadrasana II or Warrior 2 pose, proper alignment is important. A problem with Warrior 2 is that some hyperextend their back knee and lock it when their hip collapses as it goes forward. Hence, the entire lower back can flatten on one side and the body will collapse in the pose.

For correct alignment with Virabhadrasana II, don’t let your knees turn once you push your hips back. Keep your knees wide and your inner thighs back. This shifts power to your legs and helps the muscles in the back of your legs to properly line up.

While doing this, keep your stomach and waist long and firm. Then, lift the right side of your stomach and the bone on the right side slightly higher. However, don’t let stress into the back of your hip but keep a little curve in the lower back.

FAQs

Is Warrior 2 a hip opener?

Warrior II stabilizes and opens the hips. It also strengthens the core and can improve balance. Give yourself time with this lower body pose and work on your breathing.

What are the benefits of Warrior 2?

Warrior 2 is a grounding and lunging standing yoga pose that alleviates stiff or tight hips. It also improves body and mind awareness and increases stamina, power and strength.

Why is Warrior 2 so hard?

It’s a difficult asana because you have to focus on breathing while your legs go in different directions. Be patient and concentrate when your front leg is being bent while the back leg is straight. 

Is Warrior 2 a grounding pose?

Yes, Warrior 2 is a grounding pose and there are other grounding poses like Downward Facing Dog, Triangle Pose and Seated Cat-Cow Pose.

What is the correct alignment for warrior 2?

A problem with Warrior 2 is hyperextending the back knee or locking it when their hip collapses. To avoid this, avoid letting the knees turn when pushing your hips back. Keep the knees wide and shift your power to your legs. This will help the muscles in the back of your legs properly line up.

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