Thursday, March 15, 2012

Virabhadrasana II -- Warrior 2 Pose

Virabhadrasana II (from

Last week most of our classes were practicing Virabhadrasana II, or Warrior Pose 2 (shown left), with an emphasis on keeping the trunk upright and the sides evenly extended.  

Of course the legs and arms are important too -- the bent leg at a right angle, the back leg firm and straight, and the arms extended horizontally.  But we were focusing more on keeping the trunk upright and the shoulders and hips squared off with each other.

As many of you experienced, it can be very difficult to keep all aspects of this pose (or any pose!) going.  

I found a couple of photos online that represent two common variances to the upright trunk position (and made them into line drawings, to keep the people anonymous!).

These are reasonable poses -- not bad -- but compare them to the photo at the top.

This first line drawing shows what many of us do -- we don't quite get the full right angle bend for the front leg, and the trunk is leaning a little over the front leg.  
The second line drawing shows a good bend for the front leg, and the shoulders are mostly over the hips, but the right side of the torso (her bend leg is her right leg) is longer than the left side, because her hips are tipping to the right; her right hip is lower than her left.

Still, it's a pretty good pose.   Both drawings show that the hips are a little tight.   This is very common to many of us!

What does your Virabhadrasana II look like?   How can you tell?

This is where a full length mirror can help you.   You might feel that your trunk is upright and your front leg is in a right angle, but the mirror may show differently.  

A point of focus is at the upper outer thigh where it meets the hip socket for the back leg (the straight leg).  It has to hinge inward more than we think.  We rarely use our legs that way, and the hip will be unfamiliar with that action.    Keeping an awareness of the hips directly under the shoulders, and the shoulders directly over the hips as you bend your front knee is also necessary. 

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