Virabhadrasana II in Sanskrit, Warrior II Pose focuses on building leg strength and stamina. The second of three Warrior Poses, this pose also provides a way to stretch the hips, groin, and legs as well as chest and shoulders.
Another added element to this pose, involves adding a chair for a bonus stretch and stability!
-From the foundation up, root down through the feet, keeping the back foot a legs distance apart. Line up heel to heel, front knee over ankle. Pull the front thigh towards the back thigh to get a deep opening in the hips.
-Let the front knee press up against the chair for stability; rest the left elbow on the block, holding on to the top of the chair. Align the top shoulder over the bottom shoulder.
-Moving the bottom rib cage towards the top rib cage, stretch through upper pallet up towards the top of your head. You want to elongate the spine as you start to work the twist.
-Make sure to stay grounded in the feet while revolving the spine and twisting on the axis. You want to feel weighted in your feet with the hips open, but lengthen through the spine as you twist.
There are many great benefits to a twisting pose!
When you are in a twist, you will be essentially compressing your digestive organs – placing them under weight. This will cause a lack of circulation. When you release your twist there will be a rush or fresh blood that will flood your digestive organs! Fresh blood flow equals fresh oxygen and nutrients. Twisting will increase blood flow to the digestive organs, thus increasing their ability to function.
Secondly, there are many elements to every day life that result in poor posture (even if we may not realize it.) Slumping over a computer at the office, slouching behind the steering wheel, sitting in chairs that offer poor back support and standing with our shoulders drooping forward are all things most of us do on a daily basis. All of these habits can lead to back pain. Twists stretch and strengthen the back muscles, which can provide serious relief from the back pain caused by everyday life.
Inhale, exhale, twist!