Perfect your form: Warrior II

A yoga instructor on why you shouldn’t square your hips

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Warrior II pose is commonly performed incorrectly, even by intermediate yogis, which can lead to strain on the medial ligaments of the knee joint.

“Squaring the hips is a shortcut cue many instructors use, which is outdated and anatomically false,” says Sarah Girard, a New York City-based yoga instructor who teaches at several Equinox locations. “We don’t need to square the hips to the front or the side at all in this pose. The hips will, in fact, be more on a diagonal than anything. This will keep the front, bent knee and toes facing the same direction, strengthening the hip associated with the bent leg.”

To check your form, look down at your front foot and if you aren’t able to see your big toe, it’s likely that your knee is misaligned, causing unwanted stress, says Girard. “If this happens, shift your thigh and knee toward your pinky toe, which should align your knee with your second and third toes (which is where you want it). You’ll know that you’ve done it correctly if you can see your big toe after you shift.”

“It’s always important for yogis to check their form regularly,” says Girard. By taking a few moments to make any needed adjustments you can enhance your practiceand prevent injury.

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