Warrior 2 Pose (Virabhadrasana 2): Benefits, Modifications & More

warrior 2 pose
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Warrior 2, popularly known as Virabhadrasana 2, is one of the lunging standing yoga poses. It’s the part of 3 beginner poses warrior pose 1 2 3 is commonly called the Virabhadrasana series.

Physically, it provides a powerful stretch to inner thighs, legs, groin, chest, arms, and back. The asana enhances endurance and strength of all the muscles involved along with expanding the chest and shoulders.

Practicing this pose helps the seeker to build confidence for advanced practices by increasing the awareness and association between the body and mind.

Meaning & Interpretation

Virabhadrasana is a combination of three root terms Vira + Bhadra + Asana. Here, ‘Vira’ refers to a ‘warrior/ hero’, ‘Bhadra’ means ‘friend’, and ‘Asana’ is ‘pose’.  

3 Virabhadrasana poses are named after Virabhadra, the great warrior who’s considered to born out from one of the dreadlocks of Lord Shiva. All 3 poses of Veeradharasana series are actually 3 different postures of Virabhadra that he took to kill King Daksha.

In an epic Sanskrit poem KumaraSambhavam by Kalidasa 1, there is a description of the mythological aspect of Virabhadrasana. It describes the tale of Virabhadra.

According to legends, Shiva created Virabhadra to take an avenge from Daksha for Sati’s death. The warrior 2 pose is about the incident when Virabhadra sets his gaze on Daksha to put forth the attack. 

As per Virabhadra’s stance while setting his aim and concentration on his opponent the warrior pose II requires the hold and steadiness of the body while maintaining the pose.

Warrior Pose 2 Practice Guide

warrior pose 2 in partnering
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Before performing warrior pose 2, go through following points to practice it safely.

Precautions & Contraindications

  1. In severe knee pain, high blood pressure, or a chronic injury to the neck or shoulders avoid performing Virabhadrasana 2.
  2. Avoid turning your head while maintaining the asana if you are someone who has a neck issue. Instead, continue looking straight ahead without straining the neck.
  3. Be careful while performing virabhadrasana 2 if you are suffering from diarrhea.

Preparatory Poses

These poses before performing the warrior pose 2 are advised to prepare the body for practice:

How to Do Warrior 2 (Steps)

  • Begin with standing in the mountain pose.
  • Then, exhale and Spread the legs wide enough to maintain the distance of 3-4 feet between them.
  • Bring your hands to your waistline.
  • Take your right toe out moving it into a sharp 90° angle and bring your left toe in into 15°.
  • Now, turn your neck towards your right and look straight in the same direction.
  • Inhale extending your hands in the respective directions keeping your palms facing the ground.
  • Raise the arms to the level of your shoulders ensuring that they are parallel to the ground.
  • Exhale and bend your right knee keeping in mind that it won’t go past your right ankle. Keep it perpendicular to the floor.
  • Maintain the pose tucking the pelvis inwards and keeping the spine straight.
  • Feel the stretch on the left leg and keep breathing.
  • Maintain the position for 30 – 60 seconds.
  • Exhale and gradually straighten the right knee.
  • Release the hands back to your waistline.
  • Bring both of your toes back to the front.

Repeat the same steps on the other side focusing on your left foot.

Cues for Beginners

To ease the complexity of warrior 2, beginners can follow the following cues;

  • Be cautious while performing the pose focusing on the left knee. Bending the left knee must be a swift movement followed with a deep exhalation.
  • Don’t allow your knee to bend towards the big toe. Instead, tilting towards the little toe seems helpful to maintain the correct posture.
  • Always aim to draw the tailbone downwards to add to the strength and straightening of the spine.
  • Initiate by keeping a smaller separation between both the feet while keeping the front knee bent. This helps in maintaining the posture with stability and less strength. 
  • For preventing pressure on the knee, try the pose by bending the back knee as well.

Follow up Poses

Warrior 2 Modifications

warrior 2 pose on chair
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Using some common yoga props, the warrior 2 pose can be enhanced with these modifications:

  • Using a block – Using a block or two under the front foot while performing warrior 2 will provide additional support. It prevents the back foot from collapsing and maintains its integrity.
  • Using a folding chair – If unable to bend the knee properly, then using a folding chair under your front thigh will support your torso.
  • Against a wall – One can use a wall to attain proper balance and control of the body. Place the heel of the back foot near the wall while getting into the pose. It provides extra support to perform the asana.
  • Using a fabric strap – Tie the fabric in the form of a hammock and perform warrior II aerially. Instead bending the right knee normally, lift the leg over the strap and lung forward. It requires less strength and provides extra support.
  • Holding the fabric by hands – When the legs and hips are stretched wide apart, tie a piece of fabric in front and back. Hold them while raising hands and maintaining the stretch. It is a bit challenging initially but helps in better stretching of the groin and hip region.

Warrior 2 Variations

warrior pose 2 variation
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  • Warrior pose 2 with one knee on the floor – It could be performed by not shifting the direction of the neck while raising the arms.
  • Perform the warrior pose II along with a partner on the back.

Warrior 2 Benefits

1. Enhances stability

Virabhadrasana 2 is all about muscle alignment. In athletic training, it has seen 2 practicing warrior pose 2 enhances core stability and controls the body movement thus consider good practice in injury-prevention. It makes the practitioner aware of maintaining balance and stability to the body.

2. Improves respiration

While performing warrior 2, the seeker requires deep breathing to hold the pose effectively. This action strengthens the respiratory organs and expands the chest and lungs. It also helps in preventing respiratory disorders 3

3. Cures infertility

Virabhadrasana 2 is advisable to couples dealing with infertility 4 as it strengthens the core, legs, and whole lower body. It focuses on the sacral chakra region that is associated with the reproductive system. 

4. Helpful during pregnancy

Warrior 2 pose involves stretching the muscles for a prolonged duration. Along with increasing endurance, it ultimately makes the body flexible 5. It also enhances the strength of the body. Therefore it can be practiced during pregnancy.

5. Tones abdominal organs

This asana helps revitalize and stimulate abdominal organs 6. It focuses on the abdominal cavity internally and is beneficial in toning all the vital abdominal organs. 

6. Boosts stamina

Warrior II pose helps the practitioner to build and boost stamina. Along with holding the pose properly the endurance of the body increases and it feels energetic.

7. Improves concentration power

Besides providing physical benefits, virabhadrasana II is beneficial to mental health. 

Holding the pose involves holding the sight to a particular point. It develops clarity in the mind about the aim and decreases the distraction to a minimum. It provides an edge to your concentration power.

8. Therapeutic action

This asana acts as a remedy for some disorders or diseases. Practicing virabhadrasana II is recommended to cure carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, osteoporosis, and sciatica.

Final Note

Achieving courage, balance, stamina, and strength is the goal of every living soul. It is incredible to know that all these charismatic traits are already there within each one of us. All it takes is your awareness to reach them consciously to display them out.

Virabhadrasana 2 is the key to unlock these traits within your body. So, grab your yoga mat and get going. Practice the pose regularly to embrace it with grace. Use the information for guidance and step out with all your potential like a warrior.

Warrior 2 Pose FAQs

  1. What is the best possible time to perform Virabhadrasana 2?

    For performing yoga poses, especially poses like Virabhadrasana 2 which stimulates the concentration power is best to perform in the morning time. However, practicing it in the evening hours is also convenient.

  2. Is it necessary to do Virabhadrasana II with an empty stomach?

    Yes, it is mandatory to keep at least a four to six hours long window between your meals and performing the asana. Thus, always keep your stomach empty and bowel-free before getting into the pose.

References

  1. Kumārasambhava https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kum%C4%81rasambhava
  2. The Benefits of Yoga for Athletes: The Body https://journals.humankinetics.com/view/journals/ijatt/11/2/article-p32.xml
  3. effects of yoga exercises on respiratory disorders https://www.researchgate.net/publication/341312580_EFFECTS_OF_YOGA_EXERCISES_ON_RESPIRATORY_DISORDERS
  4. Yoga Can Improve Assisted Reproduction Technology Outcomes in Couples With Infertility https://www.researchgate.net/publication/320958174_Yoga_Can_Improve_Assisted_Reproduction_Technology_Outcomes_in_Couples_With_Infertility
  5. Yoga for pregnancy https://search.proquest.com/docview/212862471/fulltext/1D98AAF34F534CA5PQ/1?accountid=6724
  6. hatha yoga exercises in prevention and correction of body posture defects at children in school age https://www.researchgate.net/publication/230813264_HATHA_YOGA_EXERCISES_IN_PREVENTION_AND_CORRECTION_OF_BODY_POSTURE_DEFECTS_AT_CHILDREN_IN_SCHOOL_AGE

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