Last month we learned about Warrior I and its namesake Virabhadra, and this month we move on to Virabhadrasana II, the second in a series of three standing poses. Warrior II is a powerful pose that offers a wonderful opportunity to really tap into your alignment and strength.
To come into Warrior II, begin in Tadasana. Step the left foot 3-4 feet behind you, rotate the heel down, and angle the outside of the foot so that it is parallel with the short end of the mat. Leading with the left hip, open up so that the shoulders are over the hips and the torso is turned towards the long end of your mat. Relax the shoulders down the back, and track the right knee outwards so that you can see the right big toe. Let the gaze rest on the right finger tips. Visualize your purpose or dharma extending out from the arms with each breath, powerful and steady but still soft. Remember Shiva’s regret here: as soon as Virabhadra killed his enemy he was struck with remorse. How can we fight for what we believe in but avoid being hurtful or abrasive in our actions? The answer becomes clear as you begin to sink more deeply into your warrior: by staying truthful and never allowing ego to enter your purpose. Hold for five deep breaths and then switch sides.
Virabhadrasana II can provide both strengthening and the beautiful lightness that comes with filling ourselves with breath and intention. Like Warrior I, this asana invites you to embody the dharma of Virabhadra and know your purpose, but the pointed gaze over the fingertips offers an even sharper level of focus and intention.