Disclaimers: Consult a doctor before beginning an exercise regime. Never force a pose. Stop if you feel pain or intense discomfort. Yoga is meant to be yummy.
I love vinyasa yoga and I am obsessed with good alignment. This obsession doesn’t stem from a need for perfection, which would be very “un-yoga-like” of me, but from a passion for protecting the body from injury. Most bodies can safely practice yoga on a daily basis, but maintaining sound alignment is essential to your physical wellbeing. In this series, I will break down some common poses—explaining how to stay safe and fully enjoy each posture. Finally, remember to BREATHE consistently while practicing yoga to receive the full benefits of the practice … otherwise, you’re just stretching in Sanskrit. Today’s pose is: Warrior Two, or Virabhadrasana II.
- This pose exudes fierceness
- Feet are on the same “track,” roughly 4-5 feet apart. The right foot turns 90 degrees sideways, towards the right, while the left foot is ground down at a 45-degree angle.
- Bend into the right knee at a 90-degree angle. The left leg stays straight.
- Raise the arms in line with the shoulders, palms face down. Feel a line of energy running through the tips of your fingers, stretching them out in opposite directions. Keep your gaze on the third finger of the hand that stretches over your bent leg, or gently close the eyes.
- Bring the shoulders up towards your ears, and then gently roll them back, bringing the shoulder blades together and shining the heart.
- Engage uddiyanabandha, bringing the belly button in and up towards the spine. This is not an instruction to hold the breath. Continue to breathe fully.
- Check that your hips are square. On this side, the left hip has a tendency to push forward, pull it back so that both hip points face out equally in front of you.
- Release any unnecessary tension in your neck and face.
- After you are done, try the pose on the other side to even out the body.
Practicing yoga on your own can be a ton of fun, but taking a class is a great way to explore new poses under the tutelage of a trained yoga instructor; check out MINT’s yoga offerings, here.