Warrior 3 Pose (Virabhadrasana III)- Benefits And Tips
What Are The Benefits Of Warrior Three?
Physical benefits: This pose is all about balance and stability and works to tone and strengthen your entire core. Trust me, you will feel your glutes and shoulders as they work to keep your arms and leg raised in this position!
Mental benefits: This practice is challenging, and requires focused attention on letting go of any mental resistance to the physical discomfort that comes with maintaining this pose. You may find some days, that your balance isn't quite there, but for me, this has a lot to do with this mental resistance. So keep at it! This is an excellent practice for cultivating that strength and stability of your body and mind!
Emotional Benefits: This posture encourages us to cultivate balance on an emotional level. You may notice your mind wanting to resist the pose, and give up as it can be quite challenging. However, becoming aware of this reaction helps build more emotional stability, encouraging us to become more aware of how our emotions might affect us.
Preparation Poses For Warrior Three
In preparation for warrior three there are some poses to practice that serve as a great warm up, and also give use similar cues. These poses will help you to feel the same alignment and muscles used when you get to the full expression of the pose.
The humble plank pose is a great way to prepare for warrior 3. Think about reaching out through the crown of your head, and also through your heels, creating a straight line from head to toe.
Imagine that you have a corset around your rib cage, gently drawing them in and up.
Engage the thighs with a sense of hugging them to the bone.
Ensure you don't sink into the shoulders. Instead press strongly away from the mat and stay broad across the collar bones.
Table Top With One Arm And Leg Extended
1. Start in a table top position with shoulders aligned over wrists, and hips over knees. Spine is neutral.
2. Reach one leg out behind you, keeping the hips and shoulders level, and the spine in a neutral position.
3. Reach the opposite arm out along side your head, again, trying to maintain the position of the spine, hips, and shoulders.
How To Perform Warrior Three
For this posture, your arms reach alongside your head, and the weight is transferred onto the front leg as the back leg is lifted up and back. This forms a straight line from your hands to your feet as your arms, as your torso and legs become parallel to the ground.
Things To Consider
Yoga balances are tricky at the best of times. If your yoga mat is too padded, you might find it destabilises you. A good, dense mat will provide a more stable surface for you to balance. We recommend The Ajna Wellbeing Eco Mat, for an optimal base.
Alternatively, try your balances without a mat and see how it changes the experience.
Warrior Three Variations
There are a number of variations you can play around with-
- Warrior 3 with hands at heart center (Anjali Mudra)
- Warrior 3 with eagle arms
- Bent leg Warrior 3, with supporting leg bent
- Dekasana, or Aeroplane pose, with arms extended out and leg and body lifted to create a gentle arch
About The Author: Gemma Pearce
Gemma is the co-founder of Ajna Wellbeing, along with her Sister Georgie. Gemma danced as a professional ballet dancer for 12 years, and is now yoga teacher with training in vinyasa and yin yoga, and a ballet teacher.