Pose Breakdown: Warrior Two

Introduction to Warrior Two

Warrior Two, or Virabhadrasana II, is an energizing pose for many yogis. It typcally embodies both strength and grace. Named after the fierce warrior Virabhadra from Hindu mythology. With a wide dynamic stance and broad reach, Warrior Two is a core pose in most styles of yoga.

This is a common pose at Balanced Being, and most yoga studios, and if you practice with us regularly you’ll get to practice it regularly. Having a deeper understanding of the pose can help you develop more grace and strength while practicing it.

Benefits of Warrior Two

Warrior Two isn’t just about physical strength, although that’s a factor. It strengthens the legs, arms, and core while opening up the hips, groins, and chest. As you hold the stance, gravity gives you a great stretch trough the hips and groin. With a little practice, it can improves balance, posture, and flexibility, leaving you feeling better.

Warnings and Cautions

While Warrior Two isn’t a particularly risky yoga pose, remember to practice with care. If you have any knee, hip, or shoulder issues, approach this pose gently, listening to your body’s signals. Avoid pushing yourself too hard or sacrificing proper alignment, as this can lead to strain or injury. Instead, honor your body’s limitations and find a variation of Warrior Two that feels comfortable and supportive for you. Doing a modified pose frequently leads yogis into being able to do a full pose, so stay with it!

Entering the Pose

To enter Warrior Two, stand tall at the top of your mat.

Step your feet wide apart, toes pointing towards the long edges of the mat.

Extend your arms out to the sides at shoulder height, palms facing down like wings ready to take flight.

Turn your right foot out 90 degrees and bend your right knee, ensuring it aligns over your ankle.

Keep your left leg straight and strong, grounding through the outer edge of your left foot.

Gaze over your right fingertips with a soft gaze (we call this drishti)

Hold the pose for a few breaths before gracefully transitioning to the other side.

Fine Tuning Your Pose

Like any pose, it can take a bit to get your body into full expression and a bit longer until your body feels great there. Fine tuning your pose can help and will help progress your yoga practice in other poses. First and foremost, tune the intensity of the pose. One of the easiest ways to do this is by playing around with wider or shorter stance, to see if the pose becomes easier in intensity. Over time, we want to encourage our bodies to be able to accomodate wider stances, but it’s ok to shorten if that gets us into a pose so we can practice it.

Gaze is over your front middle finger

Don’t lean too far forward in the pose, the spine should be vertical

Pay attention to the alignment of your front knee, keeping it stable and strong.

Square your hips towards the long edge of the mat,

Relax your shoulders down,

With each breath see if you can be both strong and at-ease in the pose

We love the adjustments in the video below. it shows a student coming into a strong warrior two pose.

Other Poses That Can Help Your Warrior Two

To elevate your Warrior Two pose you can incorporate other poses into your practice that build strength and flexibility in a complimentary manner. Lizard Pose (Utthan Pristhasana) offers a great stretch for the hips and groin, preparing you for the deep lunge of Warrior Two. Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana) strengthens and opens the legs in a similar manner . Side Angle Pose (Parsvakonasana) deepens the stretch in the hips and side body. Doing these poses a few times a week in a disciplined manner will strengthen your pose.