Warrior II Pose: Virabhadrasana

Warrior II, evokes strength, power and control. This standing pose is named for a fierce warrior adorned in tigers' skin; standing strong with a thousand swords, a thousand heads, eyes, and feet. This strengthening pose is a chest opener and a full-body strengthener, especially beneficial for the abs, legs, and arms.

There are two common ways to complete this posture:

Version One:

1. Begin in mountain pose – standing with feet together and hands at side.

2. Step your feet 4-5 feet apart, depending on your height. Find a wide, comfortable stance with your feet parallel to one another.

3. Pivot right foot 90 degrees to the right, aligning right foot with the right leg. Turn your left foot inward 45 degrees to the right.

4. Bend into the right knee bringing your thigh parallel with the floor, keeping your knee directly above the ankle.

5. Raise your arms over head. Lower right arm palm facing down so that it is parallel to the floor. Bring your left arm down, parallel to the floor, in line with your front/right arm.

6. Focus your gaze directly ahead of you, towards an imaginary horizon.

Version Two:

1. Begin in downward dog. Raise right leg up slightly, and step it through to your hands, you are now in a low lunge.

2. Hinge your hips upwards while turning your back (left) foot to 45 degrees.

3. Raise arms above your head towards the sky – you are now in Warrior I.

4. Split your arms, bringing your both arms down, parallel to the floor. Keep arms straight and strong, fingers pointing ahead and gaze fixed on an imaginary horizon.

5. Hold pose for five breaths. Repeat on opposite side.

Stefanie Payne

I am a product development lead in NASA's human exploration deep space program at headquarters in Washington, DC. When I am not telling the story of human exploration in space, my focus is on writing about travel on Earth—with articles appearing in The Huffington Post, The Travel Channel, blogs for The National Geographic Society, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessInsider, IBTimes and more. ...(Read More)

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