Beginner Yoga Warrior II and Side Angle Pose: Yoga with Melissa Episode 158

by Melissa West on

Beginner Yoga Warrior II and Side Angle Pose

Props Needed: Yoga Mat, Yoga Blocks, Yoga Strap

Yoga Postures/Asanas: keyhole (figure four), cat/marajaryasana, plank pose/Uttihita Chaturanga Dandasana, Wide legged standing forward fold/prasarita padottanasana, Side Bend/ Ardha Chandrasana, Warrior II/Virabhadrasana II, Side Angle Pose/Parsvakonasana, Happy Baby/ Ananda Balasana, Savasana/Corpse Pose

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Show Notes: Namaste Yoga 158 Beginner Yoga Warrior II and Side Angle

Welcome to Namaste Yoga, I’m so happy you’ve decided to try a beginner yoga class. Whether this is your first class or you are a seasoned practitioner with beginner’s mind all are welcome here.

Last week we explored Warrior I and Warrior III pose with the help of some of the quotes from Dan Millman’s book, The Way of the Peaceful Warrior. This book is basically a modern day retelling of the classic book of yoga, The Bhagavad Gita. This week we will explore Warrior II pose from its historical context of the Bhagavad Gita. The warrior poses are about the great warrior Prince Arjuna as he is about to go into battle against friends and family to defend his older brother’s claim to the ancient throne of the Kurus. It is Krishna who consoles and instructs Prince Arjuna, the warrior.

Arjuna wants to win the throne for his brother who is the rightful heir to the Kuru dynasty and who has endured many wrongs, but in order to win the throne Arjuna must fight his own Uncle, his revered teachers and elders who guided Arjuna and his brothers when they were young and even a blind King. He is of course dismayed at the prospect of fighting his own people.

The battle presented in the Bhagavatgita is an allegory the struggle that we continually fight internally between our higher self and lower self, between our divine self and ego. In the story Krishna is a symbol of Arjuna`s deepest Self. In the Bhagavadgita Krishna teaches Arjuna karma yoga – the yoga of action, action based on wisdom, detached from outcome.

Warrior II

In today`s class we will focus on warrior II pose. This pose gives us a moment to pause, stand in the present moment and collect all our wisdom from the past and create a vision for the future. Growing out of warrior II pose we will bend into side angle pose. Sometimes life throws us a curveball, sometimes our greatest struggles form us into the people we become.
What to expect: I will begin by sharing what to expect in this yoga class. You will start by lying down on your back in savasana/corpse pose, which is just a fancy way of saying you will lie on your back on the floor. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, it allows you to transition from the multi-dimensional focus and demands of your day to day life to the singular focus of your yoga practice. During your time on your yoga mat you will have the luxury of just focusing on you.The Bhagavadgita spends a lot of time talking about turning your senses inwards rather than being swayed by the temptations and let downs of the outside world! Secondly it gives you an opportunity to settle in and center yourself. I will guide you in this process by asking you to focus on your breath. Finally it gives your body a chance to let go to the pull of gravity. The muscular tension of your body can already begin to release here even before you begin practicing yoga postures.

After savasana you will stay lying on your back for some “warm-up” postures, not in the sense to warm-up your body like doing a cardio warm-up, but more to prepare your body for other postures to come. In today’s class you will begin by releasing your hips with keyhole stretch. Then you will come up onto all fours and release your spine to prepare for side angle pose. Once you come to standing you will continue to prepare for Warrior II pose so that your back is strong enough to hold your arms up instead of relying on your weak shoulder muscles! We will also spend some time preparing your legs with chair pose so that your strong glutes take the weight of warrior II and side angle pose so that your knee joints are spared.

Once your body is sufficiently prepared you are ready for your “peak poses” Warrior II and Side Angle Pose. After your peak poses today we will finish by taking advantage of the shapes your body has made with happy baby pose. After your yoga practice, you will have a chance to receive and integrate your practice with savasana/corpse pose.

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