Warrior IIWarrior II pose can seem to have a long, complex name - Virabhadrasana II. However, the key here is strength, building your power and determination to reach your goals.
Warrior II is not complicated in the sense that it has legs over ears or twisted turns. Instead, this is about building up your core strength, your arm strength, and your leg strength. Just do this pose every day to see how much more strong and secure you become in your life.
Interestingly, Virabhadra is the name of an actual warrior. So while other poses might be named after body parts or trees, this one is named after a person. You are becoming that warrior, you are gaining strength and power and a purpose.
Start in a standing position, and then take one step forward so it's about 3 feet away from the first. Of course this all depends on how tall you are, but the key is that you're able to balance between the two feet. You shouldn't feel splayed far apart, but you should also have some distance involved.
Have the front foot pointing "forward" - if you're on a mat, it's pointing towards the front of your mat. The other foot is pointing out at a 90 degree angle, towards the side of the mat. Your hips are also pointing towards the side of the mat. The hips are not pointing forward, they are pointing sideways.
Raise your front arm to point forward, and your back arm to point mat. Imagine that you're "surfing" your mat. Lower your shoulders from your ears. It can help to give your arms a wave motion, as if you really were surfing, to help them relax. Have your front leg bent about 90 degrees, but keep the knee above your foot or slightly behind it. I.e. don't let your front knee over-extend to go over your toes.
To help deepen this stretch, you can stand "up" as if you're a five pointed star, and look "forward" in the direction your hips are facing. Then turn your head towards the front foot again and sink down into the 90 degree bend in the front leg. Do that a few times, slowly, to help you settle into the position.
Your arms will often feel pulled down by this. You're supporting the entire weight of your arms in this pose! This builds arm strength for you. Focus on holding each arm straight out in the direction it's going.
Yoga for Forgiveness|
Yoga for Stress Relief and Forgiveness provides a step by step recipe for calm and healing. Author Lisa Shea has been following this practice for a decade and over time has tweaked and polished the steps until each one resonates with serenity.
Yoga for Forgiveness - Full Details
Yoga Information and Poses
Lisa Shea's Homepage