December Yoga Pose of the Month- Warrior II
Pose of the Month: Warrior II- Virabhadrasana II ( (veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh)
Continuing with our Warrior series Warrior II is another standing yoga pose that honours the “spiritual warrior” in all of us.
Benefits of Warrior II Pose:
- Builds balance, and stability
- Improves focus and concentration
- Stimulates the nervous system
- Stretches hips, groin and shoulders
- Strengthens legs, arms and shoulders
- Improves circulation and respiration
How to get into the pose:
Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), and as you exhale step the right foot back back and turn the foot parallel to the back of your mat, back leg stays extended as you press down through the outer edge of the foot (with legs straight your ankles should be under your wrists).
Bend your left knee (about 90 degrees or until the thigh is parallel to the floor and the knee is directly over the ankle or just behind it and in line with 2nd toe). Never let the knee pass out in front of the ankle!
Once you are in the pose make sure your hips are level with each other (you can place your hands on your hips to make sure one hip isn’t higher than the other).
Open the torso and hips to face the long side of your mat and extend your arms out from the shoulders with your palms facing down.
Reach out with the fingertips as your shoulder blades squeeze together. Shoulders over hips.
Keep your head directly over your tailbone.
Take your gaze out to the tip of the left middle finger.
Hold for 5-10 breaths.
To release, inhale and press down through your back foot as you straighten the front leg. Lower your arms.
Repeat on the other side.
Modifications & Variations
Keep your hands on your hips if you have a shoulder injury.
If you have neck problems don’t turn your head to look over the front just keep your gaze out in the direction of your chest.
If your hips are tight or you have an injury or pain in your knees shorten your stance and bend the front knee to your ability.
To deepen the pose:
Turn the palms and inside elbow creases towards the ceiling and then rotate them back down to face the floor.
Sit lower in lunge.