Like all the warrior poses, Warrior 2 is undeniably fierce…but there’s so much more than meets the eye here. This posture is just as focused on heart-opening as it is strength, serving as a powerful reminder that you can harness your warrior spirit and compassion at the same time.
Another awesome benefit? Warrior 2 is a full-body pose — one that activates your lower body, core and upper body — which is why it’s no surprise that it’s known for cultivating both mental and physical stamina. As always, we’ll explore this asana from the ground up, since building a solid foundation makes room for you to grow, explore and play with Warrior 2 as your practice evolves. So, let’s dive in…
The Basics of Warrior 2
Beginning from the top of your mat, step your left foot about three to four feet behind you. Point your front toes forward, and spin your back toes out to a 45-degree angle; really press down through the outer edges of the back foot. Check to make sure your front heel is aligned with your back arch, and bend your right knee over your right ankle. Feel free to shorten your stance if this feels too intense, or widen to deepen.
As for your upper body, raise your arms to shoulder-height and parallel to the mat, aligned directly over your legs. Reach actively from fingertip to fingertip. Keep your shoulders directly over your hips, resisting the urge to lean forward and keeping your chest lifted. Tuck your naval in to maintain a long, lovely spine, and feel your tailbone lengthen while the crown of your head draws up to the sky. As you begin to sink into your Warrior 2, focus your gaze past your right middle finger.
Stay strong in the legs, soft in the face, and as always, stay with your breath and your drishti (an unmoving focal point).
With so much going on in this pose — again, every part of your body is engaged — Warrior 2 is a wonderful exploration in finding ease within effort. Where can you learn to relax, while you hold strength in other areas? Can you find peace, stillness and fearlessness amidst it all? Can you connect with your own warrior strength while keeping an open, loving heart?
- Full-body pose that strengthens the legs, gluteus, core muscles, shoulders and arms
- Builds core power
- Stretches the chest and shoulders
- Opens the hips
- Increases body awareness and mind-body connection
- Relieves backaches
- Balances the root chakra (which helps you feel more grounded)
- Builds stamina and endurance
- Enhances mental focus
- Improves circulation and breathing capacity
- Stimulates digestion
Hopefully, the tips above help you reap the full benefits of this powerful asana and embrace your own confident version of Warrior 2. Just showing up on your mat and exploring this posture can bring about strength, focus and the ultimate courage (vulnerability), so be patient with yourself and enjoy the journey!