How to Do Warrior II Pose in Yoga (Guide to Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior II is a great pose to practice if you want to focus on increasing alignment and a deeper awareness of all the different parts of your body.

Practicing this pose will help you embody power, confidence, and strength.

“Warrior II is one of the first standing poses that you’ll learn as a beginner, but it takes a lot of practice to master it,” says Yoga Answered contributor Keira Shepherd. “Although this pose looks straightforward, it calls on bringing every single part of your body into correct alignment.”

Warrior II Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana II
Pose Type: Standing Yoga Poses, Strengthening Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Beginner pose
Targets: Arms, shoulders, neck, core, hips, pelvis, quads, hamstrings, ankles
Benefits: This pose helps you achieve a deep stretch in the hamstrings while gently opening the hips, chest, and shoulders.
Preparatory Poses: Warrior I pose, high lunge pose

How to Do Warrior II Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start by standing at the front of your mat.
  2. Take a step back with your right foot – leaving a gap between your feet that’s about the same length as one of your legs.
  3. Turn your torso to face towards the right.
  4. Turn your right toes out to 90 degrees so that they’re pointing away from you.
  5. Inhale to raise your arms, reaching them in opposite directions.
  6. As you exhale, bend deeply into your front knee as you bring your hips closer to the ground.
  7. Gaze forward, looking over your left fingers.
  8. Keep your core engaged and maintain length in the back leg.
  9. Squeeze your glutes to engage your hips and keep your pelvis open – this will almost feel as though you’re trying to bring your legs to meet behind you.

Beginner’s Tip

Focus on pushing into the outside edge of your back foot to keep your back leg straight and grounded.

Try to bring more weight into your front heel and bring the feet further apart if your front knee is overhanging your ankle.

Contraindications

  • If you have any pain or injury in either knee, avoid practicing warrior II.
  • If pregnant, you might like to practice next to a wall or keep a chair beside you as support.
  • This pose may be uncomfortable if you have pain or weakness in the hips.

Variation

You might like to practice this pose by bringing a chair or a yoga ball beneath the sit bones. Adding a prop here is great during pregnancy if you have discomfort in the knees or find it difficult to hold this pose.

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