(Virabhadrasana III): Techniques, Benefits, Variations

Level – Intermediate

Warrior 3 Pose

(Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior 3 Pose Prep & Practice

1

Beginning in Mountain (Tadasana) at the top of mat. On an exhalation, step back with left foot to Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I). Arms by sides, palms face each other, spread fingers, energize hands and arms.

2

Lower abs firm in and up as torso lowers toward front thigh. Head aligned with spine, shoulders soften away from ears.

3

Ground through right (front) foot, right leg lengthens, left (back) leg elevates. Align hip, knee and ankle in both legs. Hips and inner thighs firm toward each other. Arms, torso and elevated leg yearn toward parallel with floor.

4

Flex elevated foot, toes point downward, press through heel. Hip points level and pointing toward mat. Breath is steady, legs, abdominals and arms energized and engaged, soften tops of shoulders away from ears.

5

To come out of the pose, on an exhalation lower left (back) foot to Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I), use the abdominal muscles to mindfully step back to Mountain (Tadasana) at top of mat, prepare for second side.

Variations/Modifications

  • Practice with hands at wall  (balance issues)
  • Bend standing leg
  • Bring hands onto hips, prayer or blocks (shoulder injury)
  • Practice pressing heel into wall
  • Arms reach forward, in line with ears

Physical, Mental and Emotional Benefits

  • Improves balance, posture and core strength
  • Strengthens legs, hips and muscles of back body
  • Stretches psoas and quads
  • Generates energy and mental focus

Contraindications

  • Hip or Knee Injuries
  • Difficulty Standing
  • Hiatal Hernia
  • Balance Issues (see modifications)
  • Shoulder Injury (see modifications)
  • Extremely Low Blood Pressure

Thoughtful Sequencing

Mountain (Tadasana), Step back to Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I), Inhale, lengthen front leg, exhale bend knee, repeat 2 more times, Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) to Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III). Exhale, Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I), Step forward to Mountain (Tadasana). Repeat other side.

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Want more yoga pose tutorials? See more in my Yoga Pose Directory.

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