The Asana Clinic: Week 3

Finding Strength in Virabhadrasana II

As we begin the descent in to February, our New Year sincerities are either earnestly established, now forming an integral part of our daily routines – or they are well and truly out of the window. Whatever your situation, drawing on some inner strength could be key to re-establishing, or further enhancing, the vows you made to yourself at the beginning of the year. So far, we have re-grounded with Anahatasana; we have detoxified with Ardha Matsyendarasana and now it is time to strengthen our body, mind and energy with Virabhadrasana II – aka ‘Warrior II’.

Often we think of inner strength as something we have to generate mentally and emotionally, however, I emphatically believe that expressions of outer strength can create just as much inner strength. This week’s chosen pose, Virabhadrasana II, is a key example of building outer strength and inner strength synergistically.

In yoga, we work from simply establishing a good foundation in each pose, to staying in said pose for a longer period of time – often minutes at a time. The practice of prolonged stances requires a great deal of mental stamina, concentration, focus, the ability to close the mind off from external disruptions and bring the self in to that moment and that activity alone; it also requires a hefty amount of determination, will power and discipline – all personal attributes that are conducive to a good mass of inner strength. Let’s find some inner and outer strength, in week 3 of our clinic, with Virabhadrasana II.

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana II
English Translation: Warrior II

Contraindications: Please approach with caution if you suffer from the following:

  • Diarrhoea
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Injuries to the neck: Do not turn the head to look past the leading hand; simply continue to look forwards. This will help to keep both sides of the neck equally lengthened and won’t cause strain.

Preparatory Poses:

  • Baddha Konasana – Bridge Pose
  • Trikonasana – Triangle Pose
  • Apanasana – Wind relieving pose
  • Vrksasana – Tree Pose
  • Natarajasana – Lord of the Dance Pose