Warrior II is a pose that is practiced in just about every yoga class. It is a very grounding pose that also improves focus and balance. This posture strengthens the entire body, especially the ankles and legs. In addition, Warrior 2 improves flexibility, providing a great stretch for the ankles, groin, legs, lungs, shoulders, and thorax.

Sanskrit: Virabhadrasana 2

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tadasana

start in mountain pose (tadasana) –

  • stand tall with both feet firmly grounded
  • strong legs, engaging the thighs so that the kneecaps lift
  • tuck your tailbone
  • zip your low belly into an imaginary corset (engage your core and suck belly button to spine)
  • relax shoulders down the back, away from ears
  • lengthen through spine, neck, and top of the head
  • relax jaw

exhale, step wide

  • heels aligned
  • feet 3 ft to 4 ft apart

shoulders drop, chest lifts and torso opens to face the long edge of the mat

  • shoulders stack over hips

engage upper/outer arms

actively reach arms out to the sides

  • keep arms at shoulder level, parallel to the floor
  • be mindful here to not let your shoulders creep up by your ears
  • palms face down in this pose,
    • *however, I like to flip them both ways while correcting my alignment in order to relax my shoulders
  • palms & shoulder blades down
  • reach wide imagining a line of energy fingertip to fingertip

right foot turns slightly right (45-degree angle)

  • even distribute weight, grounding down through both feet
  • push weight down and back into the outer edge of the rear foot

left foot turns out to the left 90 degrees

align heels

firm thighs, turn left thigh outward

  • inner thighs lengthen away from each other

exhale, bend left knee over left ankle (aim for left thigh parallel to the floor / 90-degree angle)

  • keep knee aligned with the second toe, being careful not to extend knee past the foot

strengthen through right leg, grounding into right heel

  • root down (connect) through all four corners of the feet

tuck tailbone down slightly

  • minimize excessive sway in the lower back

gaze over fingertips of the front hand

inhale to come out of the pose