Friday, February 15, 2013

Virbhadrasana II or Warrior II

Warrior II is a well-known yoga pose, but it is far from simple-especially when done correctly and held for a loooooong time. I often like to help my students find their lower body (in an open pelvic position) before focusing on upper body twisting and bringing your drishti (gaze) over the middle finger of the front hand. A “gem” of knowledge that I received from a great yoga teacher was being told to find my “gentle warrior” in Warrior II. Believing that yoga is the language of opposites, I find a great deal of depth to her words. Softening your face and mind help bring ease and efficiency to your Warrior II.
Remember: don’t get mad, get glad and breath.

Sanskrit: Virbhadrasana II                                    Western Term: Warrior II

Origin of Word the name for this pose derives from an incarnation of Shiva, a fierce warrior, with a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger’s skin. Step back, Beyonce, that’s fierce.

Type of Asana: standing pose

How To:
1.     Stand in tadasana (mountain pose). As you exhale, jump your feet about the distance about a full leg length long (this varies depending the size of your leg and flexibility). Raise your arms up, lengthening the arms and keeping them parallel to the ground. Feel energy out of both fingertips, without tensing the fingers and keeping your shoulder blades down your back.
2.     Turn your right foot out and keep the left foot out at 90 degrees. Line both heels up. Firm both thighs.
3.     Exhale to bend your right knee over your right ankle. Press the left sole of the foot down on the floor, spreading the toes and feeling length through the back leg. Keep the core up and in. Inhale deeply through the nose and exhale as you bend a little deeper in the front right knee to move further into the pose.
4.     Keeping your pelvis open, turn to gaze over the right middle finger.
5.     Stay for about 30 seconds to a minute (5 to 10 deep breaths) before inhaling to come up. Make sure you do both sides!

Body Points:
*press the tailbone slightly toward the pubis
*keep the sides of the torso equally long and shoulders over the pelvis
*press down on the outer heel of the back foot

 Emphasized Body Parts: legs, ankles, groins, chest, lungs, and shoulders; stimulates abdominal organs and increases stamina. Relieves backaches (esp through 2nd trimester pregnancy).

Mental Achievements: radiance, strength, and confidence. Encourages you to turn your energy into action.

An aid for beginners: kramas or levels of a pose give us yogis with various levels options. For any given pose, there are various levels of difficulty. This krama that I offer is for beginners to the pose:
-when you bend the right knee, bend it quickly using a deep exhale, and aim the right knee toward the pinky-toe side of the right foot

For Advanced Yogis: increase the length and strength of your arms by turning the palms and inner elbows up toward the ceiling, keeping the shoulder blades dropping down your back. Keep the rotation of the arms and turn the palms of the wrist to face down toward the floor again.

Chakra: 3rd chakra, Manipura chakra, it is found between your navel and breast bone and symbolized by a 10-petaled yellow lotus.

Transform energy into action by connecting to your 3rd chakra with poses like warrior II. Repeat the seed sound or bija mantra of “ram” while in your 3rd chakra pose to ignite the fire within.

Ancient Sanskirt Proverb: “Person with enthusiasm is a powerful one. There is no power equal to will power. For a person with enthusiasm and will power there is nothing that is difficult.”

Element: Fire

*Therapeutic for practitioners with sciatica, carpal tunnel syndrome, infertility, and osteoporosis

**Do not do if experiencing diarrhea, high blood pressure, neck problems (don’t turn head to the front, continue to look straight ahead)

Yogi Tune of the Week: “Om Namah Shivaya” by Donna De Lory

Pink for Spring!

Cute criss-cross straps

Fav New Yogi Accessory: Lululemon’s Free To Be Tank. Only downside is there are too many cute colors to choose from. This one was my favorite because it makes me think of spring! Bring on the sun!



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