Yoga is the ancient practice of bringing the mind, body and soul together in perfect harmony with the help of a series of poses and gestures. In addition to the same, this discipline also makes your body as well as mind stronger. Thus one can safely say that if practised daily, Yoga can help you navigate, battle and attain victory over the hurdles of your day-to-day life with a kind of determination quite similar to the one shown by a warrior on a battlefield. This article is about one such pose that can help you achieve the same. Perhaps very fittingly, this pose is known as the Virabhadrasana 2 or the Warrior 2 pose. Read on to know more.
Virabhadrasana 2 also known as Warrior 2 pose, is an extension of Virabhadrasana I. It is one of the three Virabhadrasana poses which have been inspired by the infamous legend of Virabhadra, one of the several avatars of lord Shiva. This particular pose is practised by Yogis in order to strengthen and mobilise the lesser-utilised muscles in the upper and lower body as well as heighten their sense of bodily awareness. Virabhadrasana II is considered to be one of the most rewarding poses for Yogis, as it has a multitude of benefits.
Some of the benefits of practising the Virabhadrasana II pose are as follows:
Virabhadrasana 2 Strengthens Your Legs: Given that the virabhadrasana pose requires you to utilise you abductor and adductor muscles and hold them in a particular position for about 5-10 breaths, you will eventually cause microtears in them. These micro tears will make your legs stronger over time, provided you have a well-balanced diet. Stronger legs can come in especially handy if you are on your feet a lot throughout the day. Not to mention that stronger muscles are relatively more resilient to muscle or ligament injuries.
Virabhadrasana 2 Takes The Stress Away From Your Back And Makes It Stronger: The modern lifestyle typically requires you to spend a good number of hours on a desk and in front of a screen. With time, we tend to take on a lot of stress while working our jobs and going through life, and a good portion of that stress gets stored in our backs. Put the aforementioned two factors together and you will get an individual with improper posture and a lot of stress. This is exactly the two things that Virabhadrasana II helps you avoid, as it stretches your back and let stress find its way out of you in the process.
Virabhadrasana 2 Provides Relief To Your Shoulders: Once you extend your arms until your finger tips are in line with your shoulder and keep your shoulders relaxed at all times while doing so, you will begin feeling a sense of relief in that area. If you execute this pose regularly, your shoulders should eventually begin to feel lighter. In addition to that, you will feel a heightened sense of mobility in that area. Such a benefit can come in handy to those individuals who are required to carry heavy weights on their shoulders as well as those individuals who play sport that involves extensive use of one’s shoulder.
Virabhadrasana 2 Makes You More Aware About Yourself: When you begin the breathwork part of performing this Yoga asana, you will slowly and steadily begin to become more and more aware of the shape and contours of your body as well as the sensations that are coming from deep within you. Some of these sensations are the sounds produced by your body parts, its rhythm or any irregularities in it. Not to mention it also makes you more aware of your mind as well and it can help you catch intrusive thoughts in time, opening doors for a better quality of life.
Virabhadrasana 2 Improves Your Body Balance: This Yoga pose requires you to maintain your body balance at all times, and while attempting to master the nuances of this pose, you will become aware of your body balance level and eventually improve it. Improved body balance will have a positive ripple effect on the strength levels of all your muscle groups as well as your mind.
Notably, Virabhadrasana 2 is a fairly simple pose to execute. In order to be able to do so, follow the step-by-step guide you can find below as directed.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 1: Get into the mountain pose on a mat and then raise your arms to the point where they are in line with each other at an 180 degree angle. Keep your shoulders stress-free while doing this step.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 2: Spread your legs up until your ankles align with your wrist.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 3: Rotate your right knee and ankle towards your right in order to get them aligned with the right end of the mat.
Note 1: Simultaneously, you must make sure that your upper body does not mimic the movement of your right leg. Your torso must be facing ahead at all times.
Note 2: If you are unable to move your right foot all the way, keep in mind that it is fairly normal. All you will have to do is shake your inner thighs long enough for it to feel a little less rigid. Once your inner thigh muscles free up a little bit, you will be able to achieve more motion.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 4: Rotate your left feet about 45 degrees inwards.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 5: Ensure that the top of your head is in-line with your pelvic bone. After doing so, move your neck in the direction of your right arm until your fingertips become the centre of your focus.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 6: Stay in this position for 5-10 breaths. If you are new, we will recommend at least 5.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 7: Begin the process of returning to your original pose by exhaling first, putting a small amount of additional pressure on your heels and then getting your legs back into the starting pose by reversing the motion described in steps 3 and 4 until your feet are parallel to each other.
Virabhadrasana 2 Step 8: Repeat the aforementioned steps for the other side to complete 1 repetition.
Note 3: Keep in mind that in the initial days of learning to master the yoga asana, you will find it slightly difficult to execute since this pose requires you to utilise parts of your muscular or skeletal structure that you probably don’t normally mobilize in your day-to-day life. However, this phase will eventually pass with regular practice.
Virabhadrasana 2 can be practiced either alone or as a part of a Yoga routine. Ideally, one must do it as soon as one gets out of bed as at that point in time, the stomach and bladder have presumably been empty for a minimum of 4 hours. If you prefer eventing time for your Yoga routine, you can practice it in the evening as well, provided your stomach as well as your bladder have been empty for 4-6 hours. However, most yogis choose to perform this pose at the break of dawn itself.
You must avoid doing the Viabhadrasana pose in certain cases, they are as follows:
While performing this particular pose, you will first start feeling a stretch in your inner thighs, followed by stretches of similar degree in the rest of the backside of your legs during the initial stages. While progressing, you will begin to feel the hamstrings and the gluteus muscles come into play as well. While performing the motions for the upper half of the body, as you go through the steps, you will begin feeling extending and contracting sensations in your arms, although your shoulders will remain in a relatively relaxed state.
Finally, when you move your neck in the required direction, you will begin the process of mobilising your neck muscles as well. Once you have achieved full motion, the extending and contracting sensation will begin taking over your lower body and then make its way up all the way to your chest, which will begin expanding as well. This is nearly the exact kind of effect you are hoping to achieve while performing this pose.
The Virabhadrasana 2 pose gets its name from Virabhadra, one of the several avatars of lord Shiva. Virabhadra is regarded as a valiant warrior by many, who know of his name due to the famous legend surrounding the deity. A loose translation of Virabhadrasana will get you “Friendly/Gentle Warrior”, implying that this pose is practised by those seeking to cultivate warrior-like physical and mental attributes.
Some of the alternative techniques of Virabhadrasana 2 are as follows:
Virabhadrasana with hands on hips so that the practitioner can provide additional support to his/her torso.
Virabhadrasana 2 against a wall: This is your standard Virabhadrasana 2 pose, except you need to balance a brick between your shin and the wall in order to not let the knee bend any further.
Virabhadrasana 2 with a chair: Here, you rest the lower thigh of your bent lef on a chair in order to provide your entire body an extra degree of support.
Viabhadrasa 2 with back against the wall for extra upper body support.
Virabhadrasana 2 with chair in front of you in order to provide extra body support.
You can always get better at any pose such as the Virabhadrasana II pose with practice. Additionally, you can always take a look at the the step-by-step guide on BalanceGurus itself for revision.
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