Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth yoga, fitness, & nutrition courses, when you sign up for Outside+.
Chances are at some point, either as a student or a teacher, you’ve wondered how you can bring more of a creative flair to transitioning out of Virabhadrasana 2 (Warrior 2 Pose). I think it’s accurate to say that the traditional posture appears in almost every single vinyasa yoga class, yet few of us transition from it into anything other than Viparita Virabhadrasana (Reverse Warrior) or Trikonasana (Triangle Pose).
What you may not have been taught is that Warrior 2 is actually an exceptionally versatile shape that allows you to safely move in almost any direction on the mat. There are very few limits as to what posture you can practice next.
Explore a little on your own. And look to the ideas below for inspiration on how you can rethink your usual sequencing scenarios. In the instructions and video, I highlight the primary things to pay attention to so your transition can bring you a sense of fluidity and freedom.
5 ways to go from Warrior 2
From Warrior 2 to Reverse Warrior to Extended Side Angle Loop
I call this “The Loop” because you literally loop your Warrior 2 into Viparita Virabhradrasana (Reverse Warrior) followed by Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle). The movement asks you to maintain stability in your legs and allows lengthening throughout your side body. It’s a terrific movement to prep for Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) and Svarga Dvidasanas (Bird of Paradise).
Here’s how to do it: Begin in Warrior 2 with your right foot forward, making sure your feet are firmly planted. Lower your left arm to your left thigh as you reach your right arm toward the ceiling in Reverse Warrior. The magic in the pose comes when you turn your chest to the left and circle your right elbow toward your right knee. As it makes contact, sweep your left arm alongside your left ear. This same arm will now lead you back into Reverse Warrior. Instead of thinking of this as different postures linked, consider it a single looping movement so you can fully experience the freedom and fluidity of it. Notice if your hips sway toward the right and consciously keep them stable in a Warrior stance as you move your upper body.
From Warrior 2 to Prasarita Padottanasana Twist
If you’re struggling to find a smooth way to move transition from Warrior 2 to the side of the mat, “The Twist” is the perfect solution. You can even add this at the end of The Loop to create a seamless mini sequence.
Here’s how to do it: Begin in Warrior 2 with your right foot forward. Lower your left arm to your left thigh and raise your right arm as you straighten your right leg. From here, flex your right foot to bring your toes off the ground, pivot on your right heel, and turn your toes about 45 degrees toward the left side of the mat. As you pivot your heel, turn your chest to face the long side of the mat and come into Prasarita Padottanasana. Reach your right hand toward the mat beneath your face. Once your right hand finds the mat, reach your left arm toward the ceiling in a twist.
From Warrior 2 to Skandasana to a Lunge facing the back of the mat
Want to create a flow that moves you around on the mat? This transition is perfect to bring you or your students to the back of the mat. From here, you can continue your flow into any high or low lunge variation. To complete the flow back to the front of the mat, make your way from here to Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog) then find Warrior 2 facing the back of the mat with your left leg forward. Repeat the same sequence on the opposite side and you will have come full circle—well, technically, half circle.
Here’s how to do it: Begin in Warrior 2 with your right foot forward. Start to straighten your right leg. As you lift your torso, turn your left toes out to the upper left corner of the mat about 45 degrees, bend your left knee, and pivot on your right heel to bring yourself into Skandasana (Side Lunge). You want to ensure that your weight is in the outer edge of your left foot as you lower yourself. Once your hips are close to the mat, pivot onto the ball of your right foot and square your hips toward the back of the mat. Place your right hand down for support. From here you can progress into any lunge variation.
From Warrior 2 to Side Plank or Wild Thing
Looking to integrate a little strength in your session? Or maybe you’re focusing on your backbends? Adding Side Plank or Wild Thing after Warrior 2 adds a fluid cross-body transition.
Here’s how to do it: Begin in Warrior 2 with your right foot forward. Windmill your arms to the mat and pivot onto the ball of your left foot. Push the floor away with your left palm as you begin to come onto the outer edges of both feet. Once your left heel makes contact with the floor, start to draw your right knee toward you. From here, you can place your right foot on your left foot or thigh for Side Plank or you can step your right foot onto the floor behind you and then push your hips toward the ceiling for Wild Thing.
From Warrior 2 to Half Moon Pose to T-Stretch
If you’re wondering why you’ve never heard of or practiced T-Stretch, don’t worry, it’s a signature move I happened upon when I was exploring intuitive movement on my mat. It gets its name due to the T shape made by your feet. It made the list of my favorite transitions due to its uniqueness and because it provides a counter release for your side body after Half Moon Pose.
Here’s how to do it: Begin in Warrior 2 with your right foot forward. Shift your weight onto your right foot and begin to lift your left leg as you come into Half Moon Pose, stacking your hips on top of one other. Flex your left foot and engage your glutes. This transition works best if you keep your right hand and fingertips lifted off the ground in Half Moon; for extra stability, keep your right elbow tucked in against your side body. From Half Moon, keep your lifted foot flexed as you lift your chest and bring the inner arch of your lifted foot to meet the heel of your standing foot. Once both feet are on the mat, release your left arm alongside your left thigh and raise your right arm up and alongside your head to lengthen your side body.
About our contributor
Sarah White is a continuing education provider based in Dubai. Her creative sequencing style is born from her own curiosity and exploration of the human body and many other movement disciplines. To learn more about Sarah, her courses, or upcoming Sequencing Teacher Trainings, check out withsarahwhite.com or follow her on instagram @Sar_white.