In order to achieve the full benefits, you need to perform Warrior II with proper alignment and regard for the body’s anatomical alignment. Here’s how you achieve the proper Warrior II pose:
From standing at the top of a yoga mat, perform a mini squat (chair pose) and then lunge your left foot back 3-5 feet. Your right foot should be pointing straight ahead with your left foot parallel to the back of the mat and turned inward slightly. Hips should be open completely, facing the side of the mat. Arms should be abducted to 90 degrees with elbow creases turned up to the ceiling and palms facing down. Your gaze should follow your front fingertips.
Check your alignment:
Here's an example of a Warrior II WITHOUT hips properly aligned:
Image Credit (annotations mine)
To exit the pose, lift your back leg, shift your weight forward, and return to a mini squat (chair). Then stand up.
By performing Warrior II with the appropriate body mechanics, you will see better results and improve your ROM, strength, motor control, and balance.
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Reference: Garner, G. 2001. Professional Yoga Therapy, Volume I. Professional Yoga Therapy Institute, Living Well, US.
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Dr. Christine Walker
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