The Warrior III Pose or the Virabhadrasana III is a moderate balancing pose that is advantageous for those who want to correct postural defects.

warrior pose III

Health Benefits

This pose strengthens the ankles, legs, whole back side of the body as well as the shoulders. Warrior III Pose tones the abdomen and betters balance and posture. The hamstrings and outer thighs also get stretched on performing this pose and the chest, lungs and shoulders get expanded too.  This pose stimulates the abdominal organs and improves digestion.

Virabhadrasana III stabilises the body and brings noticeable improvement in memory, concentration, coordination and core awareness. This pose is good for toning and invigorating the whole body. Practicing this pose quietens the mind, calms down the nervous system and reduces stress and anxiety.

Getting into Pose

What you need: Room with fresh air (if you’re doing it inside, otherwise do it in open area), and you.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Initial Position: Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

Drishti or Gaze: Forward

Steps:

  1. Attain the Warrior I Pose to begin with. Extend through the fingers and extend your spinal column upwards.
  2. Bend your torso forward till it comes to a position where it is folded over the left thigh as you exhale. Let your arms and back be parallel to the floor. Make sure your elongate the back of the neck fully by tucking chin to chest.
  3. While maintaining balance, lift up your right leg slowly up and away from the ground and extend it fully behind you. Rotate your thigh such that the hip comes parallel to the floor.
  4. At the same time, keep your left leg straight and press the sole of the feet firmly into the floor. Stretch in the back direction through your raised right leg.
  5. Hold the pose for 5 deep breaths and repeat with the other leg.

Rest in Corpse pose if you feel exerted.

Other Variations

  • Supported Warrior III Pose – Intermediate Version: Perform the Warrior III Pose as usual taking the support of a wall or chair. Keep the chair at an arm’s distance from you and rest your extended arms on it for support as required. You can also take the support of a wall for your raised leg by pressing the raised foot against a wall.
  • Airplane Pose (Dekasana) – Intermediate Version: Perform the Warrior III Pose as usual and instead of stretching out your arms in front of you, stretch them out to the sides at shoulder level like the wings of an airplane.

Preparatory Poses

  • Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
  • Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
  • Hero Pose (Virasana)
  • Reclining Hero Pose (Supta Virasana)
  • Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Beginners Tips

Beginners should be careful about their balance and try to attain the pose gradually. They should be mindful to not lift the raised leg higher than the hips or head. The spine should also be in one straight line.

Advanced Poses

  • Supported Headstand (Salamba Sirsasana)
  • Lord of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana)
  • Monkey Pose (Hanumanasana)
  • One-legged Pigeon Pose (Eka Pada Rajakapotasana)

Important Notes

This pose is not recommended for those suffering from high B.P. and heart problems. Also if you have had a recent or a chronic leg, hip, back or shoulder injury; then avoid performing this pose.

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