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The story behind Warrior II

The story behind Virabhadrasana – Warrior pose

Virabhadrasana II – Warrior II is a yoga pose I use a lot in my sequences. For me it’s and easy, effective transition asana that builds up power in my legs and my arms at the same time. There is mythological story behind all the warrior poses. I’ll give you the short version. Sati – the reincarnation of Shakti – comes to an age she should marry. Her father – king Daksha – throws a party for her and invites all bachelors. Well, all but one. Sati is in love with Shiva, but the king doesn’t recognize Shiva as a God. All he sees is a partying, spliffs smoking Bob Marley figure.

At the end of the evening Sati is suppose to make her choice out of all the available bachelors by putting a garland around the head of the man she wants to marry. At the end of the evening – when all men are waiting impatiently – Sati takes up the garland, looks around and throws the garland in the air. Saying: “I’ll marry the man around who’s head this garland lands.” Precisely at that moment – as agreed – Shiva appears and the garland falls around his head.

Wedding vows

King Daksha is enraged with anger: seeing the trick his daughter and this vagabond has played on him. Yet he has no choice to marry the couple. After their wedding vows they disappear to Shiva place high in the mountains.

Not long after the king organizes another party. All are invited. Well again; all but two this time. Still being pissed of by Sati and Shiva the king doesn’t invite his own daughter and her lousy husband. Sati wants to go, Shiva refuses to accompany her. Not being invited.


When Sati arrives her father makes fun of her and her marriage and she is laughed at by all the guests. “So you have come to your senses and returned home. You have left your husband, the Lord of the Beasts – behind or do you still think an animal can make you happy?” Sati feels humiliated and when her father taunts her again she replies: “Since you have given me this body I no longer wish to be associated with it.” She sits down, meditates on her husbands and burst into flames.>

Shiva – hearing this – gets enraged. He tears of one of his dreadlocks and throws in on the floor. The dread lock transforms into a forceful warrior that Shiva gives the name Virabhadra. Meaning: Vira – hero and Bhadra – friend. He commands the warrior to destroy Daksha and revenge Sita’s dead. When the warrior sees Daksha he draws his sword (Virabhadrasana I), points it at the throat of Daksha, (Virabradhasana II) and strikes to cut of Daksha’s head (Virabadrasana III).


Shiva arrives shortly after Virabhadra has killed Daksha. Seeing what he has actually done he is filled with sorrow and calls his swordsman back (Viparita Virabhadrasana – reverse warrior). To make up for his uncontrolled anger he wants to bring Daksha back to life. Not being able to find the head of the decapitated body he takes the head of a goat and puts it on Daksha’s body instead. Bringing him back to life his way. Shiva picks up the dead body of his wife and returns to isolation and meditation.

Check out how to do Virabadrasana II.

Want more? Check out my library of yoga poses or do them with me on YouTube.

One Response to The story behind Virabhadrasana – Warrior pose

  1. Avatar
    Anonymous 4 March 2016 at 07:47 #

    I’m curious about YOUR story of Warrior Pose ! 🙂