Downward Facing Dog Pose
Tree Pose
Warrior I
Warrior III
Easy Sitting

Pose of the week: Warrior III - Virabhadrasana III

By Ashley Michelle

Warrior III Pose– Virabhadrasana III (Virabhadra - the name of a fierce warrior)

This is a great peak pose to work towards. This pose requires a lot of focus and balance and it is important to properly warm up your body before attempting.

Remember to take your time in these standing balancing poses. Give yourself the same amount of time to get into the pose as you do to come out of it.

While in a class, or if you want to try this pose at home, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Start by centering and grounding in Mountain Pose, Tadasana, bringing the hands to the heart center (Anjali Mura).

  • When you feel connected in mind and breath, step the right foot back directly behind you so that the heel is lifted off the ground. Just the right toes are connected to the earth.

  • Bring just the upper part of the body (from the hip points up) into a 90 degree, tabletop position. Reach the crown of the head forward - neck long, shoulders drawn down the back body and eye gaze straight down to the floor.

  • Once you feel strong and balanced in the standing left leg (careful not to lock the left knee) you may begin to explore what it feels like to start lifting the back right leg off the ground.

  • Keep the hands at heart center and the right toes drawing down.

*Yogi Tip - Imagine pressing your right foot into a wall behind you. You also want to ensure your right foot and leg do not come higher than your right hip. Keep your right hip, knee and ankle in alignment.

  • Once your balance feels steady and the back right leg is lifted, with your upper body in that 90 degrees, you may like to try different placements of the arms and hands.

  • You can reach both hands out in front of you, palms facing each other shoulders drawing down the back body. Think about elongating your body from your right toes through the whole body and out the fingertips.

  • You can see what it feels like to bring the hands into airplane arms by bringing the arms towards the back of the body, palms facing down. Have a little fun. Pretend you’re soaring through the sky as you keep reaching the right foot back.

  • Keep the breath fluid and the focus connected as you explore hugging the lower ribs in.

  • Stay as long as you like. Just remember to give yourself that space and time to come out slow, steady and with some ease.

  • Bring yourself back to Tadasana to practice the other side.

Jen Vince demonstrates Warrior III

Possible Physical Benefits

  • Strengthens the legs and shoulders

  • Tones the abdomen

  • Strengths the back

  • Improves circulation

Possible Mental Benefits

  • Can help build focus

  • Stimulates the mind by keeping you present

  • Can create a strong sense of willpower

Last week: Warrior II - Virabhadrasana II

Next week: Downward Facing Dog

*Photos taken at The Spiritual Spa

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