Move-It Monday~Yoga Pose: Warrior 2 (Virabhadrasana II)
Difficulty level: Easy
- Strengthens and stretches the legs and ankles
- Opens the groins, hips, chest, lungs, shoulders
- Stimulates abdominal organs
- Increases stamina
- Relieves backaches, especially through second trimester of pregnancy (Variations include supporting the lower belly with the palms of your hands to support the belly).
Begin in Down Dog . Inhale and lift your right leg off the floor, pressing it long up and behind you. Behind your next inhale, draw the right knee high into your abdomen, then exhale and place your right foot in between your hands on the mat.
Your foot should be between your hands, and your right knee should be stacked directly over your right ankle. If your foot doesn’t make it all the way to line up in this manner, simply grasp your right ankle with your right hand and place the foot in the correct alignment. This will protect your knee and allow you to move into the full pose. Swivel your left (back) foot down to the mat, parallel to the short edge of your mat. Line your right heel up so that it bisects the arch of your left foot on the mat.
Isometrically scissor the front and back legs towards each other–as though you were trying to scrunch your mat in between your feet–this will activate the muscles in your legs and provide greater stability.
Inhale, drawing your fingers just off the floor to gauge your balance. When ready, as you inhale (and in one breath), sweep your upper body vertical and press your arms out from your shoulders. Exhale, press your shoulder blades away from your ears and onto your back, then draw your pelvis towards the floor, bringing your right thigh parallel to the mat, if possible.
Pull your rib points (the bottom of your rib cage) and the area behind your belly button towards your spine to prevent over arching your back. Press firmly through the left (back) toes on the mat as you press the right (front) knee away from your front body moving the kneecap in line with the second toe of your front (right) foot.
Hold this pose for up to 30 seconds.
Exhale your hands to frame your feet on the mat. Step your right foot back next to your left foot, then press your hips back and up to Down Dog. Take 3 full breaths in Down Dog, then repeat on the other side.
Looking for a yoga sequence you can incorporate into your daily routine? Check out Refresh, Renew, Reset~A 7-Day Jumpstart For Mind and Body. I created this nutrition protocol with daily yoga and meditation to assist you in jumping into (or back into) your healthy lifestyle!