August 16, 2013 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

The Warrior II Pose (or Virabhadrasana II, if you’re already an advanced yogi) has several benefits. It stretches hips, shoulders, and the groin. It opens the chest, improving respiration. It stimulates digestive organs. But most of all, it builds stamina and stability and focuses on balance.

Setup & Starting Position

  1. Stand in Mountain Pose.5mwo1
  2. Step your feet out across the floor (or yoga mat, if you have one).5mwo2
  3. Turn your left foot out 90° so that your left heel is aligned with your right heel.5mwo3
  4. Raise your arms to the sides, keeping your shoulders down and your palms facing the ground, and turn your head to the left.

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Exercise

  1. Exhale and bend your left knee. Your thigh should be parallel to the floor (if possible), your knee should be above your ankle, and your tailbone should be tucked in slightly. Make sure to distribute your weight evenly between both legs.5mw
  2. Inhale and exhale slowly several times.
  3. Inhale and straighten your left leg, returning to Mountain Pose.
  4. Repeat exercise on the opposite side.

Tip: If the exercise seems easy, try sinking deeper into your lunge so that your thigh is parallel to the floor.

Sources: Slim, Calm, Sexy Yoga by Tara Stiles and yogajournal.com

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