Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Warrior II

The 2nd of the 3 Warrior postures.  A basic standing hip opener, and yet still very challenging.  Here are the basic movements for the posture (asana).
Start Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) with the feet spread wide (about the length of one of your own legs).  Toes are pointed forward.  For this example we will start with the RIGHT foot turning out (90 degrees) while keeping the left foot planted in place.  Reach the arms out shoulder height and over the legs.  Bend the right knee so that the thigh is parallel to the ground and gaze over the right finger tips.  The back is long and tall, shoulders lower away from the ears (but keep the arms level with the shoulders.
Intermediate things to work on...
Draw the right hip forward and the left hip back at the same time you pull the right knee back (toward the pinky toe) so you can see the right big toe on the inside of your right knee.
The benefits of this pose are...
strengthens the thighs, knees, ankles, and arches.  Stretches the hips and shoulders.  Stimulates the digestive system and circulation.
Always remember to engage the Ujjayi breath of inhales and exhales through the nose with the back of the throat and the vocal diaphragm contracted.  Try the basic actions of the pose while engaging the breath and once you feel you have this down, work on some of the more technical actions.