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power and elegance in warrior II
Photography by jasper johal

power and elegance in warrior II

by Caleb Aschkynazo caleb aschkynazo
Practice Yoga | Standing asanas


a tool for transformation

how virabhadrasana two - warrior 2?

Separate the feet between four and five feet apart. Turn the right leg sideways 90 degrees to the right and the left foot slightly to the right. Open your arms straight out to the sides, palms down, and stretch the arms out in line with the shoulders enough to firm the triceps. Keep the gaze easily focused toward the fingertips of the right hand.

Drop the shoulders and turn the chest opening sideways without leaning forward or back. Bend the right knee 90 degrees, directly over the ankle, pulling away from the left foot. Open and track the knee over the second and third toes.

The feet should be wide enough so that the weight of the front foot rests heavily in the heel. Tuck the tailbone lightly to lengthen down from the lower back and lift the lower belly. Keep the right knee opening as you tighten the left thigh and enjoy warrior 2!

who

I came out of the ’70s. where “making a difference” had become a catchphrase. It was the motto for the so-called “me” generation. But for me it really resonated. Yoga is the vehicle by which I can communicate, and if I’ve done my job, I can actually see the difference I’ve made.

People are different when they walk out of my class. They are calmer, happier and more peaceful. A famous Zen meditation teacher once said that, “Awareness is in itself transformative”.

I believe that yoga is a tool for transformation. It is my purpose and my passion to share this journey in such a way that people become more sensitive to themselves and, hopefully, by extension, to their environment. I also believe that if your practice doesn’t make you a kinder, gentler person—a person that you can love—then you should find one that does. And then practice!

why

Warrior 2 is one of my favorite poses because of its power and elegance. It is simultaneously dynamic and still. There are the qualities of an inner calm and relaxed readiness. In my previous life as a martial artist, there was a variation of warrior 2 in every art I studied.

The feet are wide, the hips open, and the legs are strong, forming a splendid base for the torso and upper body. The chest and shoulder blades are spread so the heart is fully open, front and back. It is said that it’s here we receive love. The neck releases and relaxes, promoting clear intention. Warrior 2 really opens you from the bottom up. In extended holds you have the opportunity to practice breathing and staying calm and centered in an intense situation, cultivating an inner confidence to deal with the strong situations of life with equanimity.

Watch a video of warrior 2.

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