Warrior 2/Virabhadrasana 2
More advanced version of Warrior I focusing more on the hips and groin and increasing strength and stamina, improving balance.
Come into a full Warrior I(right leg forward), the stance can be a little longer accommodating the body and pose, engaging the leg muscles to the bone and drawing the muscles from the floor up into the pelvis. Slowly open the left hand/arm(shoulder height) with the head, shoulders, chest following until the torso is facing the side of your mat. Hips can be slight adjusted towards the right. Tuck the tailbone under and avoid arching the lower back, feel the belly button leave the touch of the shirt, keep the torso vertical.
Keep the top of the left thigh back and lifting away from the floor and the right thigh parallel to the floor (eventually).
Arms are shoulder height and palm facing down. Relax the shoulders down and away from your ears. Be mindful the right knee is properly tracing the ankle/toes, the left leg is straight and the soles of both feet are in even contact with the floor.
Turn your head to the right and gaze out over the fingertips of your right hand.
Hold the pose for 30-60 seconds.
Inhale, straighten arms up, legs straight, rotate head to side, exhale return and release into pose.
Crescent Lunge/Alanasana (coming up on toes of back foot/facing forward)
Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana
Extended Side-Angle/Utthita Parsvakonasana (from Warrior II front forearm resting on thigh, back arm reaching overhead and forward as an extension of back leg)
Revolving Side-Angle/Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (twist openings and extensions)
Physical Benefits: Strengthens the arches, ankles, knees and thighs. Stretches the hips and shoulders. Broadens the chest, increases lung capacity. Stimulates digestion and circulation. Enhances muscular endurance. Lengthens the spine. Endurance will increase with persistence. Opens groins releasing compression of the lower back and is a necessary part of a complete back rehabilitation program if you are suffering from specific back conditions.
Mental Benefits: Builds focus. Develops willpower, Stimulates the mind.
Counter Pose: Downward-Facing Dog/Adho Mukha Svanasana
If balance is an issue you can do Warrior II with your back on the wall.
Looking up with the right arm.
Eventually an imaginary line drawn from your right heel towards your left foot should bisect the arch of your left foot and visa versa.
Contra Indications: High blood pressure, Neck injury. Do not force the hips open – it may cause problems with your knees.