Learning the Language of Yoga: Warrior pose 2 #MovementMondays

Warrior 2 Pose  

Warrior 2 (of three) is well-named in my opinion. This pose – Virabhadrasana 2 – makes me feel strong and fierce. It’s also one of my favourite poses for the hips. The more you sink into your legs, the greater the release in your hips and thighs.

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  • Getting into it: this pose can be entered into from downward dog or another standing pose like Tadasana or Virabhadrasana 1. Let’s enter this one from downward dog. Like in warrior 1, lunge your right leg forward to your right hand. Pivot on the ball of the left foot and drop the left heel to about a 90 degree angle. Your hips face the long side of the mat. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and actively reach them out. Your palms are facing down. Look toward your right fingertips. Try to align your left heel with the right heel. Firm your thigh muscles. Then, bend into your right (front) leg so that the knee is over the ankle. Your back (left) leg is straight. Try to externally rotate your right thigh and internally rotate the left thigh slightly. Hold the pose for three to five breaths. Reverse your feet and repeat on the other side.
  • Tips and tricks:
    • Keep your back leg straight and strong to take any excess tension out of the front leg.
    • Engage the muscles in your arms and fingers, and try other variations eagle or goddess arms.
    • Move your back foot to the end of the mat for a challenge (and burn!) in your front leg.
    • Keep your torso long and above your hips.
  • Benefits: 
    • Strengthens and stretches your legs and ankles.
    • Stretches your groin, chest and shoulders.
    • Relieves backaches (especially during pregnancy).
    • Increases your stamina.

After holding this pose for a while you start to feel like a warrior for enduring the burn in your front leg. When you finally straighten that leg, you’ll likely feel a rush of fresh oxygen through your veins. Then you might realize it was worth the long hold! 

Natalie Anthony, BA, RYT-200 Yoga Instructor

After a serious accident, Natalie was revived by discovering the physical and emotional benefits of yoga. Her yoga journey began as a client at Balance, and evolved into a passion for teaching the practice to others. Natalie is registered with the International Yoga Alliance as an instructor. Her creative sequencing inspires students to develop strength, flexibility and joy – both on and off the mat. Natalie instructs group classes and facilitates private one-on-one Yoga sessions at Balance, a Toronto boutique fitness and wellness centre. balancefit.com


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