In warrior 2 (or virabhadrasana 2) you stand with your legs apart. and your pelvis facing the front. One foot is turned out 90 degrees and the other foot is turned out. The knee of the turned out foot is bent 90 degrees with the thigh level and shin vertical. The other knee is straight.
The pelvis is level from left to right. (The tendency is for the bent knee side of hte pelvis to drop.) The spine is vertical.
The arms reach out from to the sides you look in the direction of your bent knee leg.
Because you are looking at one hand in warrior 2 it is easy to drop your awareness of the back arm. And so you have to focus on feeling your back arm. Try to pull your elbow and wrist away from your shoulder. Make your elbow straight. Reach with your finger tips and pull your shoulder blade away from your spine. Reach that arm backwards (away from the back of your head and away from your "back" shoulder.)
To get into this standing yoga pose with, step your feet about a leg width apart. This is a starting distance. You'll probably find that you actually need to go slightly wider.
Turn one foot out 90 degrees to your pelvis. Say your left foot. Turn your right foot in slightly. With your knees straight rool your shins out so that your knees point in the same direction as your toes. Align the two bones of each heel with the bones of your legs. Lift your arches and press down through the inside and outide parts of the forefoot. Reach with your toes.
In this position check that your pelvis is level from left to right.
Keep your foot active and bend your left knee . Your knee should be over your foot when viewed from the side. Your knee should also be over your foot when viewed from the front.
Check that your pelvis is level.
From here, move your right foot away from your left foot enough so that your left thigh is horizontal, parallel to the ground.
You may find it difficult to get your thigh level and your pelvis level in Warrior 2. Work towards it gradually. Gradually widen your feet while holding this yoga pose.
When looking to the side people tend to lean their spine to that side. Instead, keep it vertical. To do that reach back with your back hand as much as you reach forwards with your front hand.
You can straighten your lumbar spine by pulling your lower belly in and rolling your pelvis back. You can lenghten your neck and open your chest by pulling the back of your head back and up. Do this before looking to the side.
Lengthen your ribcage by creating space between each set of ribs. Lift your ribs away from your pelvis. Lift your head away from your ribcage.
To make your arms as long as possible in warrior 2 spread your shoulder blades. (This uses the serratus anterior muscle.) Move them away from your spine.
Make your elbows, wrists and fingers straight. Look towards your leading hand while staying aware of your other hand.
You could also retract your shoulder blades. See scapular awareness for more.
Spread your fingers or have them together but in either case make them feel alive.
Learn how to use Friction to improve leg and arm strength.
Simple exercises with easy to follow instructions
Making difficult poses like Chaturanga Dandasana easier to learn.
Learn Your Body with
Frictional Arm and Leg Strength
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Your iphone needs power in order to sense your touch. Proprioception needs muscle activity in order to sense your body.
Some simple exercises so that you can work towards the pistol squat gradually.
Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.
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The small actions in this standing psoas stretch can be used to stretch both the upper and lower fibers of the psoas muscle.
Variations of the standing psoas stretch that use the same basic actions.
Here's a break down of the steps of Ashtanga Yoga Surya Namaskar A to make this sun salutation easier to learn and remember.
A reclining psoas stretch I learned from a Richard Freeman Workshop. The better you understand your anatomy the easier it is to work on your body effectively.
The hip stretches included on this page can be used to stretch and improve flexibility of the hip flexors, hip extensors, adductors and abductors.
Friction and pressure are two simple techniques that I use to help my students get stronger and more flexible. These simple techniques also offer a roadway into not only learning how to activate your muscles, but getting a feel for them and your body. Three challenging yoga poses that I use these techniques in are chaturanga, front splits and side splits. While they might not help you get all the way down into the splits, they'll help you feel stronger, and more integrated as you work towards them. And because I've got to pay for my daughters schooling this week, I'm offering a discount on the frictional muscle control videos. (First 100 people only can save over 30%).
Active stretching teaches you muscle control to not only improve flexibility but also body awareness. You'll learn how to adjust postures for better feel as well as more control through a broader range of motion.
Standing exercises for low back pain plus anatomy that can affect the low back and how to use that anatomical understanding.
Experience your body (and understand it) with sensational yoga poses.
Is it a bad idea to heel strike while barefoot running? What are the possible benefits of heel striking? When should you not heel strike?
These yoga poses for abs work on the abdominal muscles (and hips) in both standing positions and seated positions.
Here are the Ashtanga Standing Pose Vinyassas, with inhale movements highlighted in red.
Single joint hip flexors include iliacus, pectineus, obturators, gemelli and gluteus minimus. Use them to help improve your forward bends.
In this preparation for compass pose use your arms to pull your leg towards you for a seated hamstring stretch. To modify, use a strap.