What is Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III) in Yoga? Tips, Technique, and More

Linda Rider

Warrior III pose, also known as Virabhadrasana III in Sanskrit, is a balancing yoga pose for intermediate to advanced practitioners. This standing position improves focus and concentration by promoting balance on both sides of the body, strengthening the legs and abdominal muscles.

You can incorporate it into an energizing standing yoga sequence for your home practice. It’s an invigorating pose that can help you not only strengthen your lower body and core, but also focus your mind.

Getting started with Warrior III pose: Correct technique

When you practise this asana, you will feel empowered, energized, and strong. Here’s a step-by-step tutorial on practicing Warrior III:

  • Begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana), keeping your arms by the sides and your feet hip-distance apart. Bring your consciousness to the present moment by breathing easily and softly.
  • Turn left and step 4 to 5 feet apart. Make a 90-degree turn with your right foot so that your toes point to the top of the mat. At a 45-degree angle, pivot your left foot inward. Your pelvis and torso should point in the same direction as your right toes.
  • Bend your right knee over your right ankle, aligning your shin with the floor. Raise your arms to your shoulders, palms facing each other. This is warrior I pose (Virabhadrasana I).
  • Your right foot should take the brunt of your weight. As you lower your chest, lift your left leg and bring your body parallel to the ground. Your arms will now stretch forward, still extended.
  • As if you’re pressing a wall behind you, flex your left foot and stretch out through your heel.
  • Maintain vigorous engagement of both leg muscles. Continue to lift the left leg while straightening your standing leg, but do not lock your knees.
  • Strive to have your arms, chest, hips, and lifted leg all parallel to the floor. To get your hips parallel to the mat, you may need to lower the hip of your lifted leg somewhat.
  • Stretch your entire body from your fingers to your elevated heel.
  • Look a few feet in front of your body at the floor.
  • Hold for 30 seconds in this position to release, exhale and gently lower your left foot to the floor, returning to Warrior I.
  • Step forward into Mountain Pose by lowering your arms. Rep the stance on the opposite side for the same length of time.


Benefits of Warrior III Pose: Why should you do it?

Warrior III pose has many added benefits for your physical as well as mental health. Check out this list of advantages of doing Warrior III pose:

1) Removes excess fat

This stance aids in the removal of excess body fat. This is due to the high level of muscle activity, which burns calories. Additionally, the extended hold time in this pose aids in calorie burn.

2) Improved digestion

By extending the stomach muscles and the entire digestive system, this pose aids digestion and excretion. Deep breathing engaged in this stance helps to oxygenate and improve the function of the organs.

3) Back strengthening

The Warrioir III pose is excellent for building back strength. It necessitates a lot of spine extension and flexion, which helps tone and strengthen these muscles. It also aids in the improvement of posture and alignment.

4) Improved body-mind control

Warrior III pose takes a great deal of coordination and balance. It’s a fantastic way to hone these abilities. It can also aid in the development of ankle and hip strength and stability.

5) Engage Core

The core muscles must be fully engaged while doing warrior III pose. This improves stability and balance while strengthening these muscles.

6) Enhanced flexibility

This pose stretches the hips and legs well. It stretches the hamstring, calf, and ankle muscles while opening up the hip joints. This may assist in increasing flexibility in these areas.

Tips to remember to avoid common mistakes

Be mindful of these pointers to avoid mistakes and to get the most out of this position and avoid injury:

  • Your entire body should be parallel to the ground and in a straight line. Raising your higher leg too high will put strain on your lower back or cause your head to fall forward.
  • Your head should be in line with your chest and spine, not nodded down or cranked up, as this might cause neck strain. Maintain a downward stare with your brows pointing to the other wall.
  • To protect the joint, keep the supporting knee somewhat soft. Instead, focus on supporting the body by resisting the shin muscle.
  • Concentrate on standing on the complete sole of your standing foot rather than shifting your weight to your heel. Too much pressure on our heels might have a negative impact on our posture. Warrior III encourages yogis to lean more forward onto the ball of their feet and balance their weight.

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Edited by Sabine Algur