Building strength is as important during pregnancy as it is during any other period in a woman’s life. Warrior II pose, or Virabhandrasana II as it’s also known, is great for building leg strength and for improving your endurance. Focusing on the breath can help you hold the pose longer, which is useful when applied to dealing with labour contractions. A traditional yoga pose, Warrior II can be adapted to pregnancy with a few minor modifications. A strong pose, Warrior II can make you feel like the powerful goddess you are!
To practice Warrior II pose, stand on your mat facing the long edge of the mat with your legs open wide and your knees slightly bent. Make sure to not let your bum stick out behind you but rather, keep your belly strong (not tight!) and your chest open. Turn your right foot out to face the short end of the mat and open your arms up to shoulder height, the right hand reaching in front of you and the left hand reaching back. Keeping your shoulders down, take a strong steady breath in as you settle the hips down a little. Your feet can also open a little, as if you were standing on train tracks, instead of on a line. This will give you a little more stability in the pose. Your chin is parallel to the floor.
You’re now in Warrior II pose and you can focus on your breath. If you wish to use the breath and add some movement into the pose, you can straighten the front leg slightly as your breath in, rising up out of the pose, lifting your hands up overhead to touch. As you breath out, you can settle back down into the front bent knee, bringing your hands down to shoulder height. You can repeat this 3-5 times.
When you’re done in Warrior II, turn your right foot back towards the long end of the mat with your knees slightly bent. Considering drawing a figure 8 with your hips a few times before taking Warrior II on the left side.
If Warrior II is a bit too intense for you, consider trying the pose with a chair under your front bent leg. This modification can allow you to try Warrior II in an easier way. If you’re suffering from pain in your pelvis (known as SPD or Symphysis pubis dysfunction), you will probably want to avoid practicing Warrior II).
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