Recipe for a Happy Warrior II.

Via on Sep 3, 2013

john warrior 2

There are dozens of ways to enter and exit any of our poses.

It wasn’t until approximately two years ago that I started asking myself,

“Is this the best way to build this pose for me?”

And the answer I kept running into, over and over again, was: no.

I’m interested in building a yoga practice that straight up makes sense—a practice that makes me feel physically capable and free, and a practice that allows me to simply enjoy the experience that I’m having.

My intention is to enter every pose in a way that simply feels good. And when I feel good, everything about me is stronger.

One of my favorite project poses is Warrior II.

When I come into my Warrior II, I feel strong, open, soft and completely lightweight in my strength. But when I enter into it less than optimally, I feel crunchy, squishy, sharp, stiff and breakable.

This is what I love about Warrior II:

  • Develops strength and steadiness through the joints of the legs—ankles, knees and into the pelvis.
  • Engages the inner-thigh meridian to empower muscles close to the skeletal structure and take pressure out of outer hips and low back.
  • Opens the pelvic girdle and allows full hip expression in the front leg.
  • Encourages entire core engagement—from the front belly to the side waste, and wrapping around to the quadratus lumborum in the back spine.
  • Encourages softness through open shoulders.
  • Extension of the arms builds strength.
  • Archetype of the pose is set up in such a way that we make ourselves open and vulnerable to our opponent, yet we face away from them. There are huge implications there!
  • We are given the internal dynamic of figuring out how to engage where necessary and soften everywhere else. This is how we feel buoyancy in our poses.

When I enter into my Warrior II in a canonical, mindless way, I don’t feel these things. Often I’ll feel pinching in weird areas, weak in other areas and overall stressed out.

If this at all rings true for you, I’ve made a video that may help elucidate common pitfalls of entering into our Warrior II and how to build the most dynamic pose possible!

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Ed: Cat Beekmans

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About Brentan Schellenbach

Brentan Schellenbach is a Chicago based yoga teacher and writer. She co-owns Fermata Yoga Center (FYC), a yoga studio based in the center of Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. Through her work with writing, yoga and meditation, she is looking to promote the good-feeling of herself and the good-feeling of others. For writings and personal information, visit: BrentanSchellenbach.com For FYC, visit: http://www.FermataYoga.com

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One Response to “Recipe for a Happy Warrior II.”

  1. Diana says:

    Thank you! This was fantastic. My back ankle always feels weak in Warrior II and now I think I understand why and can "fix" that.

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