Strike A Yoga Pose: Warrior II Basics and Benefits

Warrior II Pose Virabhadrasana II

By channeling your inner warrior in asana practice, this posture can bring focus, strength and courage into your life helping you to overcome the challenges of ego and pride.

Yes, shaky thighs and all …

Virabhadra Symbolism

Creation of the Hindu Lord, Shiva, images and mythology portray Virabhadra as having raging, fiery hair and three burning eyes.  He wore a garland of skulls and wielded terrible weapons in each of his one thousand arms.  However, he was not simply a murderous demon. Just as Shiva and destruction are an important part of the Hindu Trilogy (Brahma/Creator, Vishnu/Sustainer, and Shiva/Destroyer), Virabhadra, the Great Warrior, symbolizes that within ourselves which has the power to overcome the prideful ego (symbolized in stories by king Daksha) for the sake of the heart (symbolized by Sati, Daksha’s daughter and first wife of Lord Shiva).  Thus, Virabhadra destroys in order to save.

Here is the Wikipedia article where you can read more about the Origin of Virabhadra.

Warrior II Pose Instructions:

  • Start in Tadasana.  Lift your arms over head and bring your hands in prayer position.  Step 4-5 ft to the right bringing your arms parallel to the floor, palms facing down.  Heels are in line from the side and feet are parallel to each other at this point.  Scoop your tailbone under slightly, bringing your hips into a neutral position.  Arms move back, chest lifted out in front, shoulders roll down and imagine them sliding down your back.
  • Pivot on the right heel 90 degrees (heels still in the same line).  Bend the right knee until the right underside of the thigh is parallel with the floor and continue to sit down, softening in the hips until you have a 90 degree angle with the right shin and thigh.  The knee might have a tendency to move inward and if this is the case, soften your right inner thigh and you can use the right hand to externally rotate the right thigh so that the knee is centered directly over the right ankle.
  • Your weight should be evenly distributed in both feet and you want to make sure, especially, that you have the outside edge of your left foot in contact with the mat and some weight in that area as well.
  • If your upper body begins to lean forward, draw the left arm back in order to bring the upper body centered over your hips.
  • Shift your eye gaze to look out over you right arm across the right middle finger.


  • Increases the strength and flexibility of the legs, ankles and feet.
  • Therapeutic for flat feet, sciatica, backaches and osteoporosis.
  • Stretches the groin, hip muscles and connective tissue of the hips.
  • Opens the chest, lungs and shoulders.
  • Builds stamina.




Virabhadrasana II


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Lots of love,


11 thoughts on “Strike A Yoga Pose: Warrior II Basics and Benefits

  1. Bhibatsu says:

    You said:
    “Thus, Virabhadra destroys in order to save. ”

    I correct:
    Virabhadra was not created by Lord Shiva to “save”, for Sati had already given up her body (commited suicide) by self immolation invoking the fires within the body for the insult and insolence by her father Daksha.
    How then, could Virabhadra “save” anything?
    Virabhadra, which means “auspicious warrior” or “inauspicious warrior” depending on the interpretation, was created for wrath, for ruin, for vengenace, for chastisement.

    When the wicked are punished for their transgressions and their overflowing cup of sin, then universal equilibrium is restored, justice is upheld, which in turn protects the very breath of the universe.

    It is good that the wicked should die.

    This “love light and peace” bull shit that is a new fad espoused by the modern pseudo-transcendentalists, who are posers, spiritual pimps, and intellectual prostitutes, is imbibed only by those cankered fools, who fail to notice that almost EVERY diety carries a weapon, and those few who do not are protected by legions who do.

    True Aryans who have received a proper education are not deceived by flower language and pretty words.

    Virabhadra was not only created to kill Daksha, which he did so expertly for Daksha’s power protected him from all weapons both material and celestial, but Virabhadra was intelligent, and he knew that by law of Justice, just as Daksha killed animals for sacrifice, so he too deserved to be killed as a sacrifice, karma, justice, what goes around comes around, and so Virabhadra dragged him by the hair to the beheading block for sacrificing animals, and not only did he cut Daksha’s head off, but expertly threw it in the fire as a precaution so that Daksha could not be revived. Furthermore, Virabhadra also put out the eyes, cut out the tongue, and ripped off the beard of 3 rishis who had made faces at, laughed at and scowled at his master Lord Shiva when he quietly walked out of the assembly hall rather than trade angry words with Daksha, and to PUNISH – not save – Virabhadra chastised them.

    The rod of chastisement, personified by Yamaraja, upholds and maintains, protects the very life breath of the universe, for indeed, if chastisement did not protect, then no brahmina would ever have studied the Vedas and no maiden would ever have married, thus declared Bhishma pitamaha from the bed of arrows.

    Finally, all the vedas proclaim, that women, just as sudras, have no intelligence, and are not qualified to give discourse on Dharma. Particularly, the Manusamhita and the Bhagavad Gita, as well as the Caitanya Caritamrita all declare this to be fact. Modern IQ tests, and commercial advertisements and marketing experts also know this fact, that is why in this fallen Kali yuga, laws are in favor of women because the asuras always want women to be free, and indeed when Satan wanted to attack Adam he did so through Eve, the weaker and less intelligent sex.
    Should you wish to contest this truth, you must do so in the time honored tradition, with sastra, sruti, sadhu, and not your ahankar for indeed, you are no authority.

    To punish, and slay, was Virabhadra manifested.

    This modern eunuch language of the sheep, the thralls, the quivering, bleeting, heehawing modern wage-slaves, is not the timeless language of Satyam, sanata bhagavat dharma.

    Indeed, violence is not only the historically proven best method of solving problems with finality and God’s Authority – nitir asmi jigisatam “of those who seek victory I am Morality”Sri Sri Bhagavan uvaca Bhagavad Gita, and also the reason why “trial by combat” has been and still is practiced since time immemorial – but indeed, righteous violence is indeed the precursor and prerequisite, the birthpains that are necessary for Life.

    • Vedic warrior says:

      Your ignorance filled comment, condensing language, lack of knowledge and disrespect of women not only makes you AnArya(UNnoble) but on with the Kauravas. The Rigveda praises women, not just as divinity but indicates social equality with their political involvement, and not to mention that women played a role in the composition of the Vedas. The female sages are known as Rushika. Women aren’t knowledgeable you claim, well explain why the goddess of knowledge is feminine? The manusmriti is a collection of texts that are self contradictory and doctored by British and leftists historians, which both praise and degrade women. The Bhakti movement was dominated by Meerabai a woman, Shaktism is centered around women, and many famous warriors are respected women example Rani Laxmibai Rani Durgavati etc. Please don’t talk about Dharma Vedas and Shastras when you are ignorant of them and disrespect them with you sexists crap. Women like men are humans, and their iq and strength are based on personal merit not gender. So take your rubbish elsewhere because Raxhas/Rakshas putras like yourselves are pathetic.

  2. Lindsay Fields says:

    Thanks for sharing your perspective. Admittedly, I am not an authority on Hindu stories. This post is a short and perhaps over-simplification of the story of Virabhadra’s creation. My intention was to introduce readers to the story behind the asana in an effort to bring a deeper meaning to the practice of yoga asana that extends beyond just physical exercise.

    As I understand it, Virabhadra plays a greater role in Lord Shiva’s story. After seeing Daksha slain, he (Lord Shiva) is remorseful and in an act of compassion brings Daksha back to life. That is the “saving” I was referring to.

    • Vedic warrior says:

      Please disregard that man’s ignorant comment. He’s ignorant, twisting history and texts. He is the modern day Kaurava who’s sexism should be disregarded not praised.

  3. Veer says:

    Dear Lindsay,
    Nevermind the ranting & raving of this intelligent idiot of Bhibhatsu !! He has totally lost the reference of your context and took an "intellectual" liberty to "correct" your absolute harmless & symbolic gesture of defining the diety in question.The purpose of your definition is not lost on the average reader who is ignorant of the Dakshna Yagna sequence . It no way offends the "known" too , as he understands the purpose and context of your speech !!
    Lord Virabhadra is indeed a dharmic warrior , created by Lord SHiva to uphold "Dharma" (righteousness) to teach a lesson to the erring Daksha and thereby establishing the eternal principle of good winning over the evil !!
    If Bhibatsu is indeed an Indian, I feel sorry for his ranting over someone like you who is atleast aware of such a diety existing !! While I do not contest his authority on the subject, this isnt a platform or an occassion to prove his supreme skills on our mythology or puranas !!
    By the way, Bhibhatsu literally means a "deluge" and he is surely living upto his name !! Saarthaka Naama deya !! 
    Kudos to your wonderful effort & god bless !!
    Jai Veerabhadra !!

  4. Veer says:

    But the pictorial representation of the diety is crude and no way represents the image of the diety, we are used to grown upto. If you can, kindly change the image and I could send you you , a more appropriate one instead !!

  5. practicle thinking says:

    the weapon each deity have represent figiting over their own vices internally at soul level n not destroying others externally like killing anyone or beheading anyone. besides the supreme god the father is considered to be in form of pure light energy.moreover deity look similar to human they have been depicted in human  body form not in soul form now that is because v human have a choice to lead a life of deity however keeping the weapons they always have in mind representing victory over vices n its only when u have gained victory over your own bad qualities even at thought level thats when your karma is clean n u can lead a deity life or power.
    peace to all.

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