Step-by-Step Yoga Pose: Warrior III

Ready to find your balance while toning your core? Warrior III is the type of pose you can do on day 1 and on day 100 of your practice. You’ll experience something different and new each time–it’s never quite the same pose, and it’s always a challenge.

Warrior III

Alias: Virabhadrasana III (“Virabhadra” is a warrior in Hindu mythology, “asana” = pose)

Why Warrior III Pose?

Warrior III challenges your body as well as your mind. You’ll balance, tone and stretch at the same time with this quick power pose that works all your major muscle groups, including your legs, core and shoulders. Work your mind, too, by finding one point of concentration.

Getting into the posture:

  • Begin standing with your feet together and your hands in prayer position at your chest.
  • Step your right foot forward one foot’s length.
  • Begin to shift your weight to your right foot as you lean forward.
  • Firm your left glute and lift your left leg in the air as you tilt your chest forward, bringing your leg and torso parallel to the ground.
  • Point your left toes to engage the foot.
  • Level your hips toward the ground by imagining you could balance a glass of water on your lower back without spilling it.
  • For a challenge, reach your arms forward alongside your ears.
  • Focus on a single point, balance and breathe.
  • To come out of the pose, bring your hands back to heart center, lower your left leg to the ground and return to standing on both feet.
  • Relax your arms by your sides and breathe.
  • Repeat on the other side, starting with the left foot forward.

Tips for success:

  • Engage your standing leg as much as the lifted leg.
  • Leave a micro-bend in your standing leg to avoid hyperextending the knee.
  • Keep your belly pulled in to engage your abs and support the lower back.
  • Level your hips!
  • Keep the neck long and relaxed (avoid crunching your shoulders up by your ears if you choose to reach your arms forward).

Variations/Modifications:

  • Grounded Warrior III: Place your hands on a block or the floor for support. Focus on engaging your core and the legs.
  • Arm variations: Clasp your hands with the index fingers pointing forward or sweep your arms back alongside your hips.

Contraindications (when to be cautious):

  • Dizziness/lightheadedness: Move slowly if you easily feel faint or light-headed.
  • Do not perform this pose with active neck or back injuries!

Natalie Sober is a yoga enthusiast who is inspired to share her knowledge. Natalie completed her first RYT-200 hour yoga teacher training course in Telkot, Nepal, in the Sanatan style of yoga before obtaining her second RYT-200 hour certification in the Power Vinyasa style. She also happens to be a member of Pharmaca’s marketing department.

Interested in learning more? Check out other poses in our Yoga Blog Series!

**Please consult your physician before beginning this series or any exercise program. As always, your body is the best teacher so listen to the cues it gives regarding whether or not a pose is a good idea.

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