NAME: Virabhadrasana II
MEANING: The Warrior, version two this week. For those that are interested, the full meaning: the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, wielding a thousand clubs, and wearing a tiger’s skin…
BENEFITS: This is one of the all-time classics for a reason – it’s sooo good!
- Increases stamina and creates heat in the body – the heart rate and respiration also increases.
- Strengthens the thighs, calves and ankles.
- Lengthens the spine and stimulates abdominal organs.
HOW TO DO IT:
- Stand in Tadasana. As you exhale – either step or lightly jump your feet out to 3.5-4ft or (as a good measurement) so your ankles are under your wrists when you raise your arms up to parallel.
- When you raise your arms up, keep your palms down and widen your scapula (shoulder blades) as if you are radiating energy from your heart’s centre. Imagine yourself as the warrior.
- Turn your front right foot to 90 degrees and your back left foot to around 45 degrees. Align your heels.
- As you exhale, bend your right knee over your ankle. Make sure you have a 90-degree angle and that your knee is following a direct line over your middle toe – it will want to wander!
- Anchor both your feet and keep your spine as straight as possible. You are aiming to get your right thigh parallel to the floor.
- Direct the tailbone all the way down towards the earth’s core! Hold this position for five to ten breaths, deepening slightly with each exhalation.
- Inhale to straighten the leg and repeat to the left side.
HELPFUL HINT: Watch the feet – ensure there is equal weighting across both your feet – and then your spine can grow with integrity up from the stable base of your pelvis.Sometimes it helps if you straighten the front leg again and come down into the warrior by visualising lowering your pelvis and melting it down your centre line. It can also feel much stronger this way – so have a go, with care!