Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose
Edited by HealthNut, Eng, VisiHow
The third warrior pose, or Virabhadrasana III, as it is sometimes known, is a basic yoga pose that most yoga beginners should be able to master in a relatively short amount of time. This pose can help to strengthen both the ankles and the legs. It also works to improve the strength in the shoulders and the muscles in the back while simultaneously toning the abdominal muscles. Mastering the pose is also good for improving your balance and posture over time.
This pose can be chained with the other Warrior poses in sequence to work out the entire body.
What equipment will you need to get started?
- Although this is a standing pose that can be performed anywhere, attempting this pose barefoot is recommended only with a yoga mat.
- Some stretchy yoga trousers or leggings.
- A baggy shirt or a vest that allows you to fully stretch out your arms.
Warrior III Step-by-Step guide:
- 1Warm up before yoga. You can follow our guide if you need help.Advertisement
- 2Start in Mountain pose.Advertisement
- 3When you exhale next time, bend your body forward at the hips and enter Forward Fold.
- 4From Forward Fold on your next exhale, step backwards with your left foot and enter a high lunge position. This should mean that your right knee is bent at a right angle; though don't worry if this isn't the case.
- 5Bring the middle section of your torso, the part from the sternum to your pubis, down to the midline of your right thigh and the section from the knee to the crease in your hip. Then, bring your hands down to your right knee: one hand on the outside of the knee and the other on the inside. Squeeze your knee with your hands and as you are doing that raise your chest. When you exhale next time, tilt your knee slightly to the right.
- 7Try to simultaneously lift your back leg while you straighten your front leg. When you're lifting your back leg add a resistance to it by pushing your coccyx into your pelvis.
- People who are just learning how to do the pose bring themselves into the position by lunging their chests forward, thus shifting their body weight forward onto the ball of their front foot which tends to unbalance the pose. Try to not allow your chest to jerk forward when you're moving into the position. When you are straightening your front knee, press the top part of your thighbone backwards. This will centre the femur into the hip joint and will ground your heel into the floor. This should make the whole position a lot more stable.
- Your chest, arms and your raised leg should all be parallel to the floor or as close as they can be. If you are a beginner at this pose, your pelvis might tilt a little. To prevent this happening, relax the hip of your raised leg and move it towards the floor until both of your hip joints are in line and parallel to the floor. Stretch your back leg towards the wall as strongly as you can and do the same with your arms out in front of you. Look forward and bring your head up, making sure not to compress the back of your neck too much as this can cause injury.
- 8Maintain this position for between 30 seconds and a minute.
- 9To release this pose, exhale and return to the lunging position. Move your hands down to the floor, either side of your right foot, and when you next breathe out, step forward with your back foot so your feet are together again. Maintain the Forward Fold for a few breaths and then switch sides and repeat the stretch for the same amount of time.
- 10Make sure you properly cool down after yoga. Reference our guide if you need tips.
Variations of this pose:
- If you are struggling to master this pose, you could try pushing the top part of your thigh bone backwards, picturing the calf on the same leg is a resisting force against the shin. These opposing movements will prevent your knee from locking up and will help you to stabilize the position. If balance is your issue with this pose, you can try positioning a chair in front of your mat or a little in front of the feet. When you stretch your arms forwards, you can grab the top of the chair to keep yourself balanced. When you enter the fill pose, press down and push away the chair so you can use it to lend support to your arms. Hold onto the chair as lightly as possible and stop using it as you gain more confidence with the position.
- Once you have mastered the pose, you can try a more difficult variation sequence, where you move from Warrior III to Warrior I. When performing Warrior I, stretch your arms upwards on an inhalation. When you breathe out, relax your torso so it sits atop the leg facing forwards. From here, use step 4 of this guide to enter Warrior III again.
- In this pose, you can vary the position of your arms greatly. You could stretch your arms upwards and then out to the sides, as if your arms are the wings of a bird in flight. Alternatively you could stretch your arms backwards with your palms facing upwards along the sides of your chest for extra resistance.
- This pose can easily be made into a sequence utilizing the other Warrior poses and other beginner poses such as Forward Fold, Mountain Pose and Tree Pose. It is better suited for standing poses but can be linked to sitting ones, and this makes it easier to move into a cool-down sequence after your exercise.
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Categories : Sports
Recent edits by: Eng, HealthNut