Our bodies don’t feel the same every day and so our yoga practice doesn’t either. Don’t be afraid to change up how you move and hopefully these warrior 2 variants will inspire you to move how your body wants and needs to.
What can often happen in yoga is there is a shape we feel we should pop our bodies into regardless of how it feels. This Find Your Shape series is here to remind you and inspire you that you can often find a shape that may be different but should hopefully be right on that day.
Because if our practice can’t adapt then what is the point?
What are we looking to achieve in Warrior 2?
When I teach Warrior 2 my main aim is for everyone to feel strong and powerful. For me it is a pose that embodies strength, groundedness and power and that’s what I encourage all students to feel. Because a lot of the large muscle groups in the body are active in this position it can be quite an intense pose to hold and definitely builds some heat in the body.
As well as feeling grounded in this posture we are looking to activate the thigh of the front leg and find a stretch on the inner thigh. Drawing the ribcage away from the hips finds some length in the spine and reaching actively into the arms helps to strengthen them.
All of these lovely warrior 2 variants will also help you do just that…so Find Your Shape
Probably the version of Warrior 2 we see most often. Step one leg back and turn the foot to approximately 45 degrees. The important point here is to feel really solid and rooted to the ground so not worrying a huge amount if the heels are inline. Instead of this focus on engaging through the entirety of both feet and feeling your body drawing up away from the floor. Maybe try a little glute squeeze and a tuck of the ribs in here too.
The arms reach away with a subtle squeeze of the shoulder blades drawing towards each other to find an opening into the chest.
Gate Warrior 2
Taking a little of the effort out of the legs and instead focusing on the length in the spine and strength of the arms.
From a low lunge pivot on the back knee to swing the lower leg behind you. This opens the hips to the long edge of the mat. Ground down into the whole of the front foot to activate the front thigh and squeeze the front glute to open the inner thigh a little more. Lengthen the rib cage away from the hips, feeling the spine become longer and reach actively into the arms.
Chair Warrior 2
This is a perfect way to practice Warrior 2 while using the chair for support and stability.
Make sure your chair is stable and weight it down if need be. Sit on the edge of the seat and swivel the hips to one side so that more weight is on one bum cheek than the other. This will be the front leg of your Warrior 2.
Step this front leg forward so that the knee is bent. If you need to bring the floor closer you can pop the foot on a block. Using the hands to stabilise if need be stretch the back leg behind you and tuck the toes under to a lunge position. Arms reach out and the chest turns to the side.
Warrior 2 – arm variant
Why do we always need to have the palms facing to the floor? Have a go at this warrior 2 variant of palms facing towards the ceiling with a soft bend in the elbows and see how it feels through your chest. Subtly draw the shoulder blades towards each other for more of an opening in the front body.
That’s it for this edition of Find Your Shape, check out the link below to discover the whole series. If you tried any of these warrior 2 variants or have a favourite please let me know in the comments below