Virabhadrasana B or Warrior II brings you into the spiritual heart of what it means to be a warrior. It is a popular yoga pose that offers many benefits. It helps to improve balance and stability, strengthens the legs and ankles, and stretches the hips, groin, and shoulders.
According to Hindu mythology, Virabhadra was a warrior created from a lock of Shiva’s hair. He was thrown down to the Earth and landed in the stance of Virabhadrasana A, holding the sword of Dharma above his head. Upon his landing, he held out his sword, switched his gaze, and changed his stance to what we now know as Virabhadrasana B.
Benefits of Virabhadrasana B
- Strengthens the legs and ankles
- Improves balance and stability
- Opens the chest and shoulders
- Stretches the hips and groin
- Opens the lungs for improved breathing
- Energizes the whole body
Contraindications of Virabhadrasana B
If you have any injuries or conditions that affect your legs, ankles or feet, you should avoid this pose or modify it to protect your joints. This includes conditions such as Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and bunions. If you have high blood pressure or are pregnant, avoid this pose or do it with caution.
How to do Virabhadrasana B (Warrior II)
Start standing in mountain pose. Exhale and step your left leg back behind you.
The distance between your feet will depend on your height. It should be the same as the length of one of your legs.
Align your right heel to your left arch. Your right foot points to the front of your mat and your left foot is at a 45-degree angle.
Open your pelvis so your front (right) hip moves into external rotation.
Keep your hips level. Don’t let one hike up. Your pelvis should be square.
Don’t let your butt stick out. Think of your tailbone as heavy.
Pull your right femur into the sock and bend your right knee so it stacks over your ankle. Don’t let your knee jut out beyond your toes. Your knee should line up with your ankle.
Think about your hip creases pulling back and down, so your inner thighs are spreading.
Remain strong through the legs.
Lift your ribcage away from the pelvis.
Now lift your arms, so they’re parallel to the floor. Your right arm is pointing straight out in front of you and your left arm is straight behind you.
The torso is stacked along the centerline. Your shoulders are relaxed.
Stay here for five breaths. Then repeat on the other side.
Watch this video with Kino to learn more about how to do the Virabhadrasana B.
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