Anatomy of a Pose - Laurel Marsh

Laurel Marsh

Laurel Marsh

Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2)


  • Strengthens legs, arms, spine, ankles, and feet
  • Stretches the groins, chest, and arms
  • Increases stamina and confidence
  • Therapeutic for flat feet, sciatica, osteoporosis, infertility and carpal tunnel syndrome


Key Actions

  • Start in Tadasana (see April 2017 column) at the top of the mat
  • Turn to the left side of the room and widen the distance between the feet to about four feet
  • Extend the arms out to shoulder height and look to see that the wrists line up with the outer blades of the feet.  Place the hands on the hips
  • Turn all ten toes in and the heels out to slightly pigeon toe each foot.  This sets up the placement of the back foot/leg
  • From the right hip socket, turn the right knee and foot outwards 90 degrees.  Make sure the second toe is pointing straight ahead and not angled in or out
  • Look to see that the right (front) heel lines up with the arch of the left (back) foot
  • On an exhalation, lunge into the right leg while keeping the back leg straight 
  • The front knee should be directly over the ankle and in line with the second toe.  If the knee went past the ankle, widen the distance between the feet.  If it remained behind the ankle, shorten the distance between the feet  
  • With the hands on the hips, feel if the pelvis is level.  If the left side feels higher than the right, draw the outer left hip down and hug it into the midline
  • Look to make sure the front knee did not buckle in toward the big toe.  If it did, draw the outer knee toward the baby toe
  • Press into the outer blade of the back foot and lift the inner arch while firming the thigh bone back
  • Maintaining the set up in the lower half of the body, bring the hands together at the heart.  Notice if the trunk is rotated towards the top of the mat.  If so, without disrupting the hips and legs, turn the ribcage and chest to the left/long side of the mat
  • On the inhalation extend the arms out to shoulder height, palms face down
  • On the exhalation turn the head to the right, setting the gaze on the fingertips
  • Stay for five well-rounded breaths
  • To come out, straighten the front leg, relax the arms by the sides and angle the front foot/leg in
  • Repeat on the other side


To help with stability, place the outer heel of the back foot against a wall.