Warrior III Pose – Complete Tutorial

Build your confidence and develop lean mass on all of your major muscle groups.

Warrior III Pose ( Virabhadrasana III) Step-By-Step Guide

Step 1

First, stand up with your feet on the floor in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhale, perform Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).

From this position, move your left foot back and try to get your body into a high lunge without worrying about the angle of your right foot.

Align the middle part of your torso down to the right hip. Bring your arms to your knees, with your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on your left knee.

Apply pressure on your knees with your hands. Then lift your upper body and turn slightly to your right.

Step 2

While you stand in the lunge position, extend your arms forward parallel to each other. Make sure your palms are facing each other.

To find balance, press the heel on the front and straighten your front leg. As you lift your back leg, resist the tendency to press your tailbone into your pelvis.

Step 3

Now you have two options: you can either stretch your torso forward or straighten your front knee and lift your back leg.

The first option might be easier for some, but it tends to bring all the weight into one place, which is the right foot.

The second option provides more stability, though it might seem more difficult at first glance, because the hip and the joints work together to keep you balanced.

Step 4

Your entire upper body area should be parallel with the ground. The pelvis will have the tendency to tilt for many Yoga practitioners who are just getting started with the pose. To fix this, make sure that both sides of your hips are even.

Step 5

Push your back leg against the wall behind you to get a little bit of resistance as well as to help your upper body reach forward with you arms.

Align your leg, spine, and neck and gaze forward while drawing a straight line with your body.

Step 6

Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds to a minute, and release it with an exhalation back to a lunge.

Bring your hands down on the mat.Then do the same with your legs. Repeat the pose by lifting the other leg and holding it for another 30-60 seconds.

Warrior III pose
Warrior Pose III Variation

They are many variations of the the Warrior III pose. They are not that hard to do either, since you will use a wall to help you out with your balance.

Most of the variations are linked to the position of your arms. You can lift them up beside you while forming an airplane, you can put one hand one your hip, or you can hold them in a prayer position.

The following are some other variations that you can do using only your arms:

  • Holding a prayer position with your fingers gently pressing on each other (Anjali Mudra)
  • Holding a prayer position and then using your index fingers to point forward (Kali Mudra)
  • Using your arms to reach your back along your torso and then holding the palms upward
  • Hold the reverse prayer position while bringing your arms along your torso and touching your back

But modifying your arm’s position is not the only thing you can do. You also have the option of using props for your legs.

Turn your back against a wall and stand. Make sure to leave a little bit of space between the wall and your body.

Touch the wall using your left or right foot and push against the wall’s surface while keeping your leg at approximately the height of your hip. Also, straighten your spine until it is parallel to the ground.

Rotate the gluteus maximus and your outer thighs inwardly while lifting your inner thighs and keeping your upper body engaged.

Keep your shoulders relaxed and lift one arm at the time to test your limits and balance, when you do so, watch out for the tendency to put all of your weight on your standing leg. To help yourself out, engage your hip and open your chest as you gaze forward.

To deepen the pose, you can enter the Warrior III holding your arms upward.

Warrior III Tips for Beginners

There are a few tips any beginner can use, as the Warrior III requires quite a bit of strength in your legs as well as balance and mobility.

Use a chair

If you are having a bad time finding your balance when holding this pose, use a chair positioned in front of you on the floor.

As you try to get your body in Warrior III and you are stretching your arms, grab the chair with your fingers and keep it in place.

While lifting your leg up, slowly push the chair away. Try to rely on the chair for as little as possible.

However, if you feel that you are damaging your balance while pushing the chair away, you should use the chair instead. Do this until you build enough strength in your legs to keep your body balanced.

Ask a friend for help

A friend or an instructor can give you some support for the pose. This can help you avoid using a chair and slipping on certain floor types.

When you stretch your arms forward before pulling lifting your back leg, ask your friend to support your wrists with their hands.

A friend can help you get to hold the pose, but you should not rely completely on being held by your wrists.Try using the support of your friend as little as possible.

Use Ujjayi Pranayama to Increase Your Body’s Endurance

The Victorious, or the Ocean breath, is an ancient breathing technique that is extremely effective not only at silencing your negative inner dialogue in your head, but also increasing endurance and focus.

Start by closing your eyes and focus on your natural breathing for a few seconds. After you acknowledge the way you breathe naturally, take a deep breath and release it through your mouth.

When you release the air through your mouth, try imitating the sound the ocean makes when the waves hit the beach. Simply add some sound to your breath.

The secret is to deepen your exhalation. Keep your jaw relaxed and add some sound to it.

Benefits of Warrior III Pose

The Warrior III pose is great for Yoga practitioners who are already comfortable with beginner poses and want to take a step forward.

This asana can be quite challenging for your leg muscles, core, and even your back. With enough protein in your diet, it can lead to some gains when it comes to muscle mass in your hamstrings, thighs, and core.

You will get a intense workout and build a strong base for other asanas that require balance, flexibility, and a strong lower body.

Paired with the ocean breath, it can help you improve your concentration and memory. Also, it works well as a part of a morning routine due to its energizing effects.

Here are a few benefits that the Warrior III offers:

  • Raises blood pressure levels in people suffering from low blood pressure
  • It energizes the body by providing a better blood flow
  • It builds strength and lean mass when paired with enough protein
  • It increases the body awareness
  • Improves focus and memory

If you want to find out more about the spiritual dimension of the pose, read on. I have created a section that explains how the Warrior III pose can help those interested in their inner energy and chakras.

The Spiritual Dimension of Warrior III

Each Yoga pose from the Warrior sequences tells a tale of how ignorance and anger brought even more anger and suffering for Shiva as well as how forgiveness changes the fate of his wife and father-in-law.

Since the Warrior III strengthens your Manipura or Solar Plexus chakra point, there are a few things you should know about it.

The Manipura is the energy inside of us that gives us the confidence to be ourselves and get things done.

When our third chakra is weak, we are insecure and we do not believe enough in ourselves to make necessary changes in our lives.

The solar energy in our body also impacts the way we thinking about others too. If you always put yourself second because you do not believe you deserve to be first place, it could be a sign of a weak Manipura.

Contraindications

The Warrior III should not be used by Yoga practitioners who have issues with their flexibility, balance, or mobility.

This asana is rarely recommended to someone who is just getting started, unless they already have enough lean mass to support their body.

Don not try this pose by yourself if you do not have enough strength or flexibility in your legs. If you do, you risk injury.

Leg cramps do not go well with this pose either because you do need to rely completely on your legs. If you are experiencing cramps or stiffness, you may fall and injure yourself.

Did you benefit from this article? Did I miss anything? Any feedback or suggestions would be appreciated – please post in the comments and I will personally respond!

Marcus Stone

Marcus Stone

Soon after graduating college with a degree in Journalism, Marcus decided to pursue his love for yoga and traveled to Rishikesh, India to complete his RYS 500 yoga teacher training. Marcus wants people to know that yoga is for everyone – no matter your race, gender, age, or physical ability. >> Read More
Marcus Stone

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2017-11-15T23:25:40+00:00

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