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YOGA POSE OF THE WEEK: Warrior II

Tess Johnson is one of our resident yoga teachers. Her classes include Forrest Yoga on Wednesdays at 7pm and Evening Reset Yoga on Thursdays at 5.30pm. Tess originally started yoga to help with a back injury, but soon enjoyed the benefits it gave her, helping process stress and emotions. She was quickly drawn to the style of Forrest Yoga as a physically and emotionally healing practice, but also highly fun which gives her a real buzz.

Here , Tess gives us insight into a key pose ~ Warrior II.

WARRIOR II

Warrior II is a strong standing pose, requiring balance and steadiness, helping to build strength both physically and mentally. In Sanskrit it is called Virabhadrasana II (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna), and is named after the fierce warrior Virabhadra, an incarnation of Shiva. Warrior II is a foundational pose for most asana-based (pose based) yoga practices.

How to come into the pose:

Step 1: From standing, step your right foot back 3-4 feet behind you, or from downward facing dog step the left foot forward 3-4 feet (using your arm to help it forward if you need).

Step 2: Turn your front (left) foot out and the back (right) foot in (a little less than 90 degrees). Align left foot with centre of arch of the right foot.

Step 3: Make sure you are pushing the weight through the whole of the right root, including the out edge. Lift toes in left foot. Push both feet against the ground.

Step 4: Inhale and lift arms out to the sides, parallel to the floor, palms facing down.

Step 5: Exhale, bend the left knee, aligning the knee above the ankle (work towards getting the left thing parallel to the ground). Straighten right leg.

Step 6: Inhale, lengthen the ribs and spine; as you exhale, pull belly in and tuck the tailbone down.

Top Tips

  • Make sure you keep the body upright and the neck aligned with the spine. Keeping the head looking straight ahead helps to keep length in both sides of the neck.
  • Relax your shoulder blades down the back and don’t allow your back arm to droop down.
  • Keep the front knee aligned over the ankle, reach your thighs away from the hips and keep breathing!
  • And make sure to do both sides within your sequence.

Warrior II is often found in a standing pose series or B-Series with vignettes. In Forrest Yoga, we often do alternative arm positions such as shoulder shrugs (great for easing out tensions around the shoulders and neck), eagle arms or hands clasped behind the back, opening the chest. Warrior II is also used at starting position for other poses with the same foot/leg position, such as reverse warrior and extended warrior (both of which are great for opening out the sides of the torso).

Adjustments & Modifications

  • You have the option to shorten the length of your stance or bend your back knee to relieve pressure in the knees.
  • For added support, use a folding chair under your front thigh.
  • Press your back heel into a wall for balance and support.

Benefits

Warrior II pose strengthens the shoulders, arms, feet, ankles and legs, and stretches the ankles, legs, groins, chest and shoulders. It can help digestion by stimulating the abdominal organs, and can relieve backache. Warrior II also improves stamina, endurance, balance and concentration.

Wellbeing at Restoration Yard

Our open studio space in The Wellbeing Lab sits in the eaves of our gorgeous stableyard, with views out to the beautiful nature surrounding us in Dalkeith Country Park. It usually plays host to our varied programme of classes, which all have a focus on health through wellness of spirit, mind and body. Enjoy yoga, Pilates, mindfulness and baby sensory classes as well as one-off wellbeing workshops. During the Covid-19 outbreak we are currently offering a programme of online yoga, mindfulness and fitness classes via Zoom! These classes are easily accessible through your home device with our teachers’ expert instruction and guidance. Take a look at our current Wellbeing Timetable.