Virabhadrasana II: Warrior II Pose
By Ray Long, MD, FRCSC • June 28th, 2011 • 28654 Views
This pose embodies the spirit of a warrior and conveys readiness, stability, and courage. I place Warrior II after Trikonasana because it flows better biomechanically, according to the position of the pelvis. This creates continuity in the practice. In both Trikonasana and Warrior II, the pelvis faces relatively forward. In Warriors I and III, it turns toward the front leg. The sequence used in this book illustrates a logical biomechanical progression: for example, readiness (Warrior II), preparing to launch (Warrior I), and launching forward (Warrior III). Each of the warrior poses contains elements of simultaneous movement forward and backward, as well as ascent and descent. These potential movements impart a sense of anticipation of launching energetically forward.
The focus of Warrior II is to strengthen the front leg while opening the front of the pelvis and the chest. There can be a tendency to allow the chest to collapse and shift forward. Counteract this by straightening the arms and expanding the chest, expressing the inner strength and confidence that is cultivated in the pose. Build your foundation by planting the back heel firmly on the floor and extending the back arm away from the body. These actions anchor the body against the forward momentum of the pose and bring stability to the posture. If the muscles of the thigh become fatigued, partially straighten the front knee for a moment or two, and then return to the full pose. Tilt the head back slightly and gaze forward.
Basic Joint Positions
• The back foot rotates inward 30 degrees and supinates.
• The back knee extends.
• The back hip extends and externally rotates.
• The front hip and knee flex to 90 degrees.
• Both shoulders abduct and externally rotate.
• The elbows extend.
• The forearms pronate.
• The cervical spine rotates to turn the head.
Virabhadrasana II Preparation
Begin by flexing the hip and knee of the front leg. Then place the elbow on the thigh and press down (as with Trikonasana). This action awakens the hip flexors, including the psoas. With the forward hip flexed, engage the muscles of the rear-leg buttocks and lower back to lift the torso and open the chest. In the beginning, you may wish to spend some time conditioning the thigh muscles to maintain the pose. Do this by partially flexing the front knee. Take care to maintain the front hip, thigh, and lower leg in alignment at all times, so that...