Virabhadrasana II, or Warrior II is a classic standing pose from the Hatha yoga tradition. It strengthens the legs, keeps the core strong, tones the upper arms and shoulders. The legs stretch wide and you assume the stance of a proud warrior, like Arjuna read to fight the epic battle in the Bhagavad Gita. Within the widespread arms, a bow and quivered arrow could be held at the ready, or a spear in the back hand ready to be thrown. Fearlessness and courage are cultivated by it's practice as well as the ability to stand strong and firm on your own two feet. This week's practice will prepare the body for this energizing standing pose starting with a reclining, and kneeling version of the pose.
Supta Vrksasana (Reclining Tree Pose)
Lay on the back with the legs extended. Bend one knee and place the foot on the inside of the opposite leg. Use a block to support the knee. Inhale and lift the arms overhead and lengthen into the extended leg.
Ardha Anandabalasana (Half Happy Baby Pose)
Lay on the back with the knees bent and feet on the floor. Draw one leg into the chest and hold back of the knee and draw toward the shoulder with the knee bent at ninety degrees and the sole of the foot facing the ceiling. If it is available to you, extend the other leg to the floor and raise the other arm overhead.
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)
Stand with feet wide apart. Turn right foot in 30 degrees and left foot out 90 degrees. Inhale arms out from shoulders. Exhale and bend left knee. Keep torso upright and do not lean over bent leg. Gaze towards left hand.
I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.