Warrior 2

Your hip joint, public bone, and knee form a triangle. As you pivot at the hip joint and open the angle between your public bone and thigh, you increase the distance between your pubic bone and knee and extend your adductors.

Before

Some warm-up recommended before Warrior 2. It needs stamina and control.

Wide Leg Forward Fold, Triangle, Tree, and Bound Angle help to extend your adductors and enable greater extension in Warrior 2.

If practiced with Warrior 2, you can just step into it without any preparatory poses.

Wide Leg Forward Fold goes very well before Warrior 2 and as a pose between Warrior 2 to the right and and Warrior 2 to the left. Wide Leg Forward Fold, Tree, and Warrior 2 make a nice chain of poses.

Align

To learn the pose, start in a wide leg stance. This aligns your feet. Stand wide enough that you feel a slight pull on your inner thighs. This gets you started at a good stance width for you. Then turn one foot out 90 degrees. This become your front foot of the pose.

  • Stand wide – feet parallel
  • Align your heels on an imaginary line
  • Turn a foot out 90 degrees – this becomes the front of the pose
  • Feet firm, arches strong – avoid pronation
  • Front leg bent
  • Front knee directly above front ankle
  • Front shin vertical
  • Front thigh sloping up from knee to pelvis or horizontal
  • Pelvis turned away from front leg
  • Pubic bone thrust forward
  • Pelvis vertical!
  • Torso lift
  • Abdomen firm
  • Back foot at roughly 90 degrees from front foot
  • Back knee slightly soft but back leg mostly straight

Turning your pelvis away from your front leg helps avoid torque through your back knee.

Touch

Touch your pelvis. Use touch to become more aware of how you align your pelvis. Use touch to guide your pelvis into a more vertical position. Push your butt down and thrust your pubic bone forward. Push your back hip down and get your pelvis more vertical.

Engage

  • Front knee over front ankle
  • Pelvis vertical!
  • Pubic bone thrust forward
  • Pelvis turned away from front leg
  • Feet pressed firmly against the floor and pressed away from each other
  • Back heel pushed back
  • Pelvis lower

Warrior 2 has lots of specific alignments and engagements. It’s complicated. Learn one part. Then the next. Start by learning to pay attention to your front knee and always keep it above your ankle. Avoid it drifting inward.

Then work on getting your pelvis vertical, left and right, front and back. This does more to extend your adductors than a wider stance.

Then focus on firmly turning your pelvis away from your front leg while keeping your front knee over your ankle.

Once you get the pose, push your back heel hard back against the floor to intensify the extension of your back leg adductors. Then sink your pelvis just a little lower in the pose.

Extend

Warrior 2 focuses on your adductors. You should feel a strong pull on the inner thigh of your back leg. And you may feel some pull on the inner thigh of your front leg as you keep your front knee above your ankle.

Vary

Warrior 2 done supported by a chair
Warrior 2 chair support

Warrior 2 works well supported by a chair. Use the chair to help your balance. If standing in Warrior 2 fatigues you quickly, you should avoid it until more practiced. You can put the back of the chair facing your navel and rest a hand on it to help your balance. Or you can rest your front thigh on the forward edge of the chair seat with the outside of your thigh facing the back of the chair. Chairs sit lower than many people stand in Warrior 2, so let your front shin angle away. You can also put firm pillows on top of the chair seat. A stool also works. Focus on alignment. Be very aware of how your back knees feels.

Start with your back foot aligned at 90 degrees from your front foot with imaginary lines through your feet forming a right angle. Then pivot your back foot slightly to adjust the angle for the comfort of your back knee. The pose needs constant awareness of your back knee to avoid subtle injury.

Namaskarasana, pressing your hands together, palm to palm, thumbs touching your chest, can help focus on aligning your pelvis. Or, as often illustrated, have your arms straight out from your shoulders with palms facing down and your front palm above your front foot and your back palm above your back ankle.

Gaze

With your hands in namaskarasana, gaze straight ahead out over your hands. Think of your neck straight and lifting and your gaze going straight out away from you.

If you have your front hand palm down above your front foot, gaze over that hand, but avoid turning your neck too much. Your gaze goes over your hand, but your chin does not point at your hand.

Or gaze straight ahead in the same direction as your chest faces.

Feel

Warrior 2 focuses on sensations of control and extension. The pose calls awareness to multiple points of yourself. Keeping your front knee above your front ankle needs constant awareness and control — without looking at it. You also need constant awareness to keep your pubic bone thrust forward and your pelvis turned away from your front leg.

Caution

Warrior 2 (or 1) can torque your knees, especially the back one. Avoid going too deep in the pose without practice. Avoid getting your stance too wide. A wide stance places lateral stress on your back knee.

The pose needs constant awareness of your back knee to avoid subtle injury. If your knee feels uncomfortable, carefully step out of the pose. When you try the pose again, use a less wide stance, and vary the angle of your back foot until your knee feels comfortable.

Warrior 2