Like all Warrior / Virabhadrasana poses, Virabhadrasana II is a wonderful standing pose which focuses on and promotes strength, endurance and grounding. A pose to practice to feel brave and courageously encounter with grace, steadiness and ease, one’s own internal battles and to prevail triumphant in body, mind and spirit.
Begin in Tadasana
Step the feet approximately 4 to 5 feet apart ensuring the feet are in the same line
Begin on the right side of the body by turning the right foot out to a 90 degree angle
The heel of the right foot should be in line with the inner arch of the left foot
Turn the toes of the left foot inwards slightly to the right
Keep the chest facing forward in the pose
On the inhalation raise the arms up to shoulder level
On the exhalation bend the right leg to a right angle
The right knee should point in the same direction as the toes of the right foot
The right knee should be in line with the right ankle
Stretch the left leg as much as possible so that it is as straight as possible
Consciously push down into the outer edge of the left foot whilst pressing the right foot down into the mat and forward therefore
Stretch the mat apart between the feet
Drop the tailbone down
Keep the chest facing forward and upright i.e. no leaning or tilting to the right side
Turn the head to face the right and gaze at the fingertips
Imagine two people on either side of you gently pulling the hands away from you whilst the spine and chest maintain a straight posture
Hold the asana for 3 – 5 breaths as a beginner or 5 – 8 / 8 – 10 breaths as a more advanced practitioner
Release the pose on the inhalation by straightening the right leg
Drop the arms down on the exhalation
Turn the right foot forward
Repeat the pose for the same duration of time on the left side.
Counterpose / Pratikryasana:
Uttanasana or Ardha Uttanasana with the hands against a wall or the back of a chair
Tones, develops and strengthens the leg muscles
Opens and expands the chest facilitating and improving breathing
Reduces fat around the hip area
Tones the abdominal organs
Brings elasticity to the back muscles
Relieves lower backache
Cautions and Modifications:
If encountering or suffering from any shoulder issues, do not raise the arms up to shoulder level. Keep the hands on the hips
For any neck issues, do not turn the head and hold to the side, rather keep the head facing forward once alignment of the legs has been checked
For any ankle, knee, hip ligament, tendon or joint injuries, shorten the distance between the legs and only bend the leg partially if necessary.
Muladhara – For grounding.
Remember to always be mindful of your breathing, breathe to relax the body in order execute the pose correctly and to surrender to the pose, relax the body to breathe in order for the asana to work for you.