While I love Warrior 2 Pose, I used to find myself feeling tight in my front quad with a rushed breath, desperately wishing it was over. However, I received one little instruction from yoga teacher Kate Mak at the Wanderlust Festival in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, that has taken the edge off and helped me stay in the pose (comfortably) for much longer: tip your torso back over your hips.
Often in class, Kate sees her yoga students tilted toward the front of their leg, making the front quadricep work way harder than it needs to! Here’s how to make this powerful shift in your practice:
Begin on your hands and feet in Downward Facing Dog. Step your right foot forward between your palms, and come into Warrior 1.After creating a strong base with your feet and legs, extend your arms out in T position as you rotate your torso to the left, coming into the Warrior 2 pose. Ideally you want your front thigh to be parallel to the ground, and your right knee directly over your right ankle. Press into the outside edge of your left foot to prevent you from collapsing into your arch. Make sure your shoulders are stacked directly above your pelvis.Work to evenly distribute the weight in your body between your front and back legs. From here, gently pull your hips toward your back leg, so your torso is balanced right over your hips. Kate says that imagining your back foot is 10 pounds heavier can also make this shift feel natural and fluid.Once you’re in your full expression of Warrior 2, gaze past your right fingertips. Hold for five breaths, then return to Downward Facing Dog. Step your left foot forward, and do this pose on the other side.
When your body is balanced and aligned in Warrior 2, the muscles will stop holding on so hard. You should find that any tension, pain, or tightness in your front leg dissipates. Try it out in your next class!
Source: Louisa Larson Photography