Virabhadrasana (veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh) – Warrior II
Virabhadra is the name of a tall, dark and fierce deity, depicted with a thousand arms, flaming hair and eyes, and wearing a garland of skulls. She represents patience and persistence. Practicing this pose helps to build strength, stability and stamina in the body and the mind. Find your gaze, set your intention and ride the waves of your breath to find your flow in this most peaceful warrior pose.
Benefits (from yogajournal.com)
• Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
• Stretches the groins, chest and lungs, shoulders
• Stimulates abdominal organs
• Increases stamina
• Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of pregnancy
• Therapeutic for carpal tunnel syndrome, flat feet, infertility, osteoporosis, and sciatica
• Start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) and step your left foot back so your feet are about 3-4 feet apart. Front heel inline with the arch of the back foot.
• Bend your right knee over your ankle keeping your right toes facing forward while keeping your back leg straight and left foot angled at 90 degrees. Draw your arms out and gaze over your right middle finger and left arm reaching back behind you, palms facing down.
• Feel the strength and length you are creating in your legs, arms and torso.
• To release, inhale as you press down through your back foot and straighten your front leg. Lower your arms. Turn to the left, reversing the position of your feet, and repeat for the same length of time on the opposite side.
• Make it a vinyasa- inhale straighten your front leg and take arms overhead, exhale bend the front knee and release the arms back out
• Less of a bend of the knee in the front leg
• Hands to hips
• If you have difficulty supporting yourself in this pose, position a metal folding chair outside your left leg, with the front edge of the chair seat facing you. As you bend the left knee to come into the pose, slide the front edge of the seat under your left thigh (taller students may need to build up the height of the chair seat with a thickly folded blanket). Repeat with the right leg bent.