Warrior 2 Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

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Warrior 2 Pose, Virabhadrasana II, (Vii-Ruh-Bhuh-Draa-Suh-Nuh)

vira (brave) + bhadra (great/excellent) + asana (pose)

Also known as: Warrior II Pose, Virabhadrasana II

Pose Type: Balancing, Stretching, Strengthening, Standing

Difficulty: Beginner

  • woman in warrior 2 yoga pose, facing forward
  • woman in warrior 2 yoga pose, facing back

Become the warrior that you are and draw upon your strength and stamina in Warrior II

Warrior 2 Pose Fundamentals

Warrior 2 pose is the second asana in a collection of three standing poses that represent the exploits of Hindu god Vīrabhadra, a mythical warrior in Hindu texts.

Warrior II represents Virabhadra focusing on his victim preparing to strike.

When you come into Warrior II, you not only work on strengthening your physical body, but also your mind. The effort it takes for your legs to hold you in the lunge must be balanced by an inwards sense of ease.

Warrior 2 Pose Benefits

  • Allows you to practice finding ease within effort
  • Strengthens the legs
  • Opens the hips and chest

How To Do The Warrior 2: Step-By-Step

1. Stand with legs wide on your mat, feet parallel and about three foot apart. Raise both arms out from your sides, keeping them straight and parallel to the earth below.

2. Keeping your shoulders down and back, turn your left foot out about 90 degrees so it’s parallel with the long side of the mat, while your right foot is parallel with the short side.

3. Bend the left leg into a lunge so your knee is stacked above your ankle. Turn your head to the left in line with your left arm to gaze over your hand.

4. Stay here for 3-6 deep breaths then repeat on the other side.

Tips And Tricks

  • Pay attention to your front knee. Notice if it tends to fall inwards. If it does, focus on keeping your knee centered by drawing it towards the pinky toe of your front foot.
an annotated image of a woman doing warrior 2 pose

Warrior 2 pose variation: Warrior 2 Against the wall

For a more supported Warrior 2, come into the pose against a wall.

By practicing the asana against a wall, you help to maintain balance and focus on proper alignment.

Place a block between your thigh and a wall and press your thigh into the block for stability in your pose.

Precautions & Contraindications:

Knee, Hip, Back, Ankle Injuries:

If you suffer from an injury, or if you have recently had surgery in any of these areas, it may be best for you to not attempt Warrior II. That being said, listen to your body. If the asana feels good to you, enter with full awareness and exit the asana if you feel any pain.

Balancing Issues:

If you have notable balance issues, take extra precautions in this stability-demanding pose. Consider coming into Warrior II against a wall.

Preparatory Poses

Low Lunge

Crescent Lunge

Tree Pose

Reclining Hand To Big Toe Pose

Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend

Counter Poses

Standing Forward Bend

Mountain Pose

Reclining Bound Angle Pose

yogajala break 1000 × 40 px 1

For more in-depth asana resources, check out our free Yoga Pose Library. Here you’ll find complete guides to each and every yoga asana to deepen your yoga knowledge.

Each pose page features high-quality photos, anatomy insights, tips and tricks, pose instructions and queues, asana variations, and preparatory and counter poses.

Photo of author
Maria Andrews is a 200h Registered Yoga Teacher, long distance runner, and adventure lover.

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