Warrior II

Intermediate WarriorIIVirabhadrasana

HOW TO PERFORM

• From the Mountain pose, step your feet wide apart, ensuring that your heels are aligned with each other.

Turn your left foot out 90 degrees, so your toes are pointing to the top of the mat, and turn your right foot slightly inwards.

• Raise your arms parallel to the floor, with the palms facing down, keeping the shoulders down andrelaxed. Take a deep inhalation, keeping your hips aligned with your upper body, and your spine straight.

• Exhale as you bend the left knee, ensuring that the knee and the ankle form a straight line.

• Keep your left thigh as parallel as possible to the floor. Gently push your pelvis down, and tilt it inwards.

• Keep your arms straight and strong, stretching them further to the sides as you settle down in the posture.

• Look straight or turn your head to the left keeping the upper body still.

• Hold the posture for about 10 complete breaths, and then repeat on the right leg.

BENEFITS

• Strengthens the legs, arms and shoulders.
• Opens the hips.
• Opens the chest area, favouring a deeper breathing.
• Improves circulation and increases stamina.

MODIFICATIONS

• If your hips are tight and locked, or you have an injury/pain in your knees, shorten your stance and bend your front leg to a degree that is comfortable for you.

• Place your hands on your hips if you have a shoulder injury, or if you simply feel too much tension in your shoulders or upper body.

CONTRAINDICATIONS

• Hips, knees or shoulders pain/injury.
• If you are suffering from diarrhoea or high blood pressure, avoid holding the posture for long periods.