Good Moves

3 Ways To Make Sure You’re Doing Warrior II Right 

If you've ever been in the midst of a yoga flow, battling against gravity, you probably know that the Warrior II pose can be quite a challenge. The pose—one in a series of postures named after a mythical Hindu warrior named Virabhadra—requires you to engage numerous body parts at once, and it can teach you a lot about your own strength, resilience, determination, and patience. In short: It can be challenging for beginners and seasoned yoga practitioners alike. In this most recent episode of The Right Way, BK Yoga Club founders, Paris Alexandra and Alicia Ferguson, focus on proper warrior II form and alignment. Typically, people move into warrior II by standing and lowering into a wide stance with bent knees, open arms, and a very engaged core. But, to demonstrate the right way, Alexandra starts off by having Ferguson demonstrate three common pitfalls:
  1. Ferguson's front knee is bent too far forward, eclipsing the ankle.
  2. Ferguson's lower back is too arched.
  3. Ferguson's legs are not spread wide enough to give her the proper lunge.

If you make some of these mistakes, have no fear: They're easy to correct. To fix them, Alexandra first recommends that you engage your core and pull your shoulders back so that you can stand straight. Imagine, for a second, that a string is coming out of the top of your head, and it is pulling your body straight up. Engaging your core in this way can stabilize your spine and support better balance which can, in turn, help you hold the other features of your pose. The next order of business to correct Ferguson's pose involves adjusting the knee slightly. Make no mistake: A deep lunge is definitely encouraged in this pose. However, your stance should be wide so that your knee doesn't pass your ankle. Alexandra says this deep, core-engaged lunge is best when the knee is at a 90-degree angle. Finally, Alexandra says to flex your abdominal muscle and retract your shoulder blades as you stretch your arms wide. Engaging that core while you open your arms is going to help your upper body maintain its balance and prevent an overly arched back. You can envision shoulder blade retraction by imagining that you're trying to get them to touch. (Though they certainly don't need to touch.) Make sure to keep an eye on your breath throughout this pose. Remember that it's okay, and even encouraged, to perfect a pose slowly and mindfully. Start by giving yourself permission to make mistakes, as missteps are a sign you're trying. Ready to try it out? All you need for this particular pose outside of a mat and a desire to learn more! Oh hi! You look like someone who loves free workouts, discounts for cutting-edge wellness brands, and exclusive Well+Good content. Sign up for Well+, our online community of wellness insiders, and unlock your rewards instantly.

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