Name of Pose: Warrior II; Virabhadrasana II in Sanskrit
Difficulty Level: Easy
Benefits: Stretches the hips and shoulders; lengthens the spine; stimulates digestion and circulation; and strengthens the thighs, knees, and ankles.
How to Get into the Pose
1. Begin in Tadasana pose (feet shoulder-width apart, arms by your side). Step your feet wide apart, inhale, and extend your arms.
2. Turn your right leg out directly to the side. Turn your left foot in slightly and align your right heel with the arch of your left foot.
3. Exhale and bend your right knee to 90 degrees. Hold for several breaths. Pull your legs toward each other to engage the muscles, inhale, and rise up out of the pose. Repeat on the other side.
Pro Tip: “Get your foundation set BEFORE raising your arms,” said yoga instructor Katherine Okon. “You can even look down at your feet, feel them grounded firmly on the mat. Once you raise your arms, soften your shoulders. Coordinate your breath with each movement.”