warrior 2 pose virabhadrasana ii

Master Warrior 2 Pose Virabhadrasana ii

Warrior 2 Pose – Virabhadrasana II, is named after a Hindu Warrior that was said to be an incarnate of Shiva. Virabhadra was depicted with a thousand feet, heads and eyes, wearing a tiger skin cloak with a garland of skulls around his neck and indeed fierce. 

Virabhadrasana is pronounced, Veer-uh-buh-DRAHS-uh-nuh and translates from Sanskrit to English as Vira, means “hero”or “3 warrior” bhadra, means “friend” or “good” and asana, which means “pose” or “seat”. In modern yoga classes is commonly referred to as “warrior pose.”

It’s an all levels standing balance that commonly practiced in Ashtanga, Power and Vinyasa classes, it enhances overall strength, stability, and concentration. 

Warrior 2 Pose Benefits & Precautions

  • It’s a deep hip opener that strengthens the ankles, thighs, buttox and shoulders and stretches the inner groins, chest and abdomen.
  • It tones the arches of the feet, encourages deep breath flow and improves circulation, and builds mental and physical endurance
  • Helps to relieve backaches and stimulates healthy digestion, it naturally creates resilience. 
  • Encourages deep breath flow, improves circulation and builds mental and physical endurance.
  • It’s a beautiful blend of strength and softness.

Precautions include hip, knee, shoulder or neck injuries, those working with high blood pressure.

Warrior 2 - Virabhadrasana II Infographic

Warrior 2 Pose - Virabhadrasana ii Infographic_JC-118-4

Warrior 2 Pose Instructions

  1. Start in Tadasana – Mountain Pose with your feet hips width distance apart and parallel to the outer edges of the mat.
  2. On exhale, turn left and step your feet wide apart (roughly 4-5 feet on average). Keep the toes equal distance to the long edge of the mat. 
  3. Turn your right foot to face forward so it bisects the center of your mat. 
  4. Your back foot pivots slightly, leaving your back foot at roughly 45 degrees. 
  5. Hips are leveled to the earth and squared to the left side of your mat. 
  6. Root down with both heels, keeping your arches lifted and energetically pull your feet towards the center of your mat. 
  7. Raise your arms to shoulder height, palms face down, hands are pretty much over your feet. 
  8. On exhale, bend your front knee to 90 degrees and stack it directly over your ankle, leaving your shin vertical and your front thigh parallel to the earth. Lengthen the stance to accommodate this alignment.
  9. Keep the outer edge of your back foot sealed to the earth with your inner arch actively lifting. 
  10. Shoulders directly over your hips with the sides of your waist equally long. 
  11. Keep broad across your collarbones and soften your shoulders away from your ears.
  12. Gaze straight ahead over your front middle finger, keep your vision soft and onepointed. 
  13. Hold 8-10 breaths or more if you are looking to build heat. 
  14. On exhale, release by straightening your front leg, paralleling your feet to face the long left side of your mat. Now turn your left foot and leg to face the back of your mat and repeating on the Warrior II on the second side with your left foot forward (facing the back of the mat). 
Warrior II - Virabhadrasana II

Modifications - Variations - Alignment

Modification- Keep your hands at your hips if your working with a shoulder injury. 

Variations- Deepen the intensity by lifting the front heel off the earth and dropping the hips a few inches towards the earth. 

Common Misalignment-  It’s super common for the front knee to pass the ankle as a result of a short stance.

Fix- Lengthen your stance, so your front knee is directly over your front ankle and your front thigh bone is leveled to the earth.

You can prepare the body by practicing Bound Angle Pose | Baddha Konasana and/ or Tree Pose | Vrksasana and counterpose with Side Angle Lunge | Utthita Parsvakonasana. 

Featured Video: Warrior 2 Pose Instructions Virabhadrasana 2


Warrior II – Virabhadrasana II is a deep hip opener that strengthens the ankles, thighs, buttox and shoulders and stretches the inner groins, chest and abdomen. 

  • It tones the arches of the feet, encourages deep breath flow and improves circulation, and builds mental and physical endurance. 
  • It’s named after the Hindu Warrior, Virabhadra who was said to be the embodiment of Shiva himself. 
  • It’s a pose that requires strength and softness and teaches us about resilience. 
  • As a teacher and a student like to hold this for long periods of time as it provokes stamina and the ability to stay when all you want to do is go. 

TIP- It’s common to see students perform this with the back hip higher than the front hip, leaving the spine ascue on the up and down plane in reference to the earth. 

FIX- Bring your hands to your hips and level them in reference to the earth. This should leave the sides of your waistline equally long. With your hand hands to your hips initially, you can build proprioception. Once you feel the sides of your waistline equally long, you can lengthen your arms and set your vision forward. 

Per usual, listen to your inner experience and yield whenever possible. 

I hope you enjoyed today’s pose breakdown, please share what worked for you and your existing challenges below, 




 I teach a SOULFUL, slow flow alignment based Vinyasa where self inquire is encouraged and joy of being is the pinnacle. Read More..

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