Warrior Series

I know that most of you are not as much of a yoga nerd as I am. Even so, you may find it interesting to know that the the Warrior series (Warrior I,II,III) is not from the yoga of antiquity. In the 1920’s, Krishnamachacrya developed this series. He is strongly credited as the founder of modern Western yoga. His best known student is B.K.S. Iyengar. Needless to say, the Warrior series contains power standing poses. The one we’ll focus on for your practice is Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II). Ananda Yoga’s spin on this asana is a positive one. In this pose, you become the joyful warrior. The warrior for peace!

Warrior Pose

“I joyfully manifest the power of God!”


Vira = hero; bhadra = kind, gracious, happy,



From tadasana, step your left foot directly to the left so your feet are a little more than one leg’s

length apart. Open your left hip to turn the foot out 900; make sure that your left knee points in the same direction as the left toes. The pelvis remains facing forward if possible; however, it’s more important to align the left knee and toes, which may mean allowing the right side of the pelvis to rotate forward somewhat. In that case, turn your right foot in enough to align your right knee and toes. Align your feet so that a line from the second toe through the heel of your left foot will intersect the middle of the instep of your right foot.

Inhale as you bring your arms up to horizontal, rolling the palms to face up and lengthening out through the fingertips. Exhale and relax your shoulders, keeping arms horizontal. Inhale and lengthen through your spine, then exhale and bend your left knee, bringing it over your left ankle into a sideways lunge, chest still facing forward. Keep your hips level, spine vertical, and shoulders relaxed down away from your ears.

Inhale and lengthen your neck and glide your chin in, then exhale and rotate your head to look out over your extended left arm.

Breathe smoothly and naturally as you hold the pose. Keep your spine long, shoulders soft, and lower jaw relaxed. Mentally affirm, “I joyfully manifest the power of God!” To exit, inhale and straighten your left knee as you rotate your head back to center. Once upright, turn both feet forward and stretch open through chest and shoulders. On the exhalation, release your arms to your sides, and step your feet back into tadasana.

Pause to integrate the effects of the pose, then repeat to the right side.

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