WARRIOR II or VIRABHADRASANA II is one of the classic foundation yoga poses and, in general terms, improves circulation and respiration and energizes the entire body.
The main benefit of Virabhadrasana II is that it improves your stamina. In addition, it strengthens and stretches your legs and ankles and opens the hips and chest. It also stretches the groins, lungs and shoulders, as well as stimulating the abdominal organs. It relieves backache and is therapeutic for flat feet, osteoporosis and sciatica – all of that provided by just one yoga posture!
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhalation, step your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart.Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach them actively out to the sides, shoulder blades wide, palms down.
- Turn your right foot out to the right 90 degrees and turn your left foot back to about 45 degrees. Align the right heel with the left heel. Firm your thighs and turn your right thigh outward so that the center of the right knee cap is in line with the center of the right ankle.
- Exhale and bend your right knee over the right ankle, so that the shin is perpendicular to the floor. If possible, bring the right thigh parallel to the floor. Anchor this movement of the right knee by strengthening the left leg and pressing the outer left heel firmly to the floor.
- Stretch the arms away from the space between the shoulder blades, parallel to the floor. Don’t lean the torso over the right thigh: Keep the sides of the torso equally long and the shoulders directly over the pelvis. Press the tailbone slightly towards the pubis. Turn the head to the right and look out over the right fingers.
- Stay for 5 nice long elongated breaths or 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up as you straighten the front leg. Reverse the feet and repeat for the same length of time to the left.