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.

Was this helpful? Yes | No| I need help

This pose can be chained with the other Warrior poses in sequence to work out the entire body.

Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 56227.jpg

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.
    Learn Yoga to Improve Flexibility 54042.jpg
  • 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:

  1. 1
    You can follow our guide if you need help.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  2. 2
    Start in Mountain pose
    Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 45533.jpg
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  3. 3
    When you exhale next time, bend your body forward at the hips and enter Forward Fold.
    Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 70892.jpg
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  4. 4
    From 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.
    Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 45678.jpg
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  5. 5
    Bring 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.
    Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 28849.jpg
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  6. 6
    From the high lunging position, push your arms forwards so they sit parallel to the floor and to each other
    The palms of your hands should face each other. On your next exhale, push the front of your right thigh back and press your heel into the floor or the yoga mat.
    Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 41800.jpg
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  7. 7
    Try 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.
    Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 96471.jpg
    • 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.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  8. 8
    Maintain this position for between 30 seconds and a minute.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  9. 9
    To 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.
    Learn Yoga with the Warrior III Pose 29838.jpg
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help
  10. 10
    Make sure you properly cool down after yoga
    Reference our guide if you need tips.
    Was this step helpful? Yes | No| I need help

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.

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


VisiHow welcomes all comments. If you do not want to be anonymous, register or log in. It is free.

Article Info

Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: Eng, HealthNut

Share this Article:

Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 193 times.


Thank Our Volunteer Authors.

Would you like to give back to the community by fixing a spelling mistake? Yes | No