Warrior 3 pose

Virabhadrasana 3

Categories:
Balance, Forward bend, Strength

The warrior 3 pose improves your overall balance and works on strengthening the legs, ankles and abdomen.

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Step by step explanation

The warrior 3 pose can be done by

  1. Start standing upright with your arms alongside the body.
  2. Have your feet close together with either your big toes touching or feet hip-width apart. Your knees can be slightly bent, toes spreading apart and legs active.
  3. Now shift your weight to your left leg, making it firm and long, while you start to slowly lift your right leg back behind you. Both legs should stay as straight as possible.
  4. Start to lengthen the front of your body, engaging the abdomen as you reach and fold forward with your torso. From here, extend your arms all the way over your head, reaching your fingertips out in front of you. Straighten the arms, so your legs, torso, and arms are aligned. Your right foot is reaching back, while the crown of the head and fingertips are reaching in the opposite direction forward.
  5. If reaching the arms forward feels like too much you can bring your hands in front of the heart or keep them alongside the body. If it’s difficult to balance place your fingertips on the ground.
  6. Finding a straight standing leg will help with your balance and then you can work on also straightening the lifted leg as much as you can. Keep an active and straight posture and focus on your breathing.
  7. Hold the pose for at least five, long breaths, with your gaze looking forward.
  8. When you are ready slowly release the pose by lowering your right leg back next to your left leg. Standing back with both legs next to each other. From here change and repeat balancing on the opposite leg.
  9. Now shift your weight to your right leg, making it firm and long, while you start to slowly lift your left leg back behind you. Again, both legs should stay as straight as possible.
  10. Start to lengthen the front of your body, engaging the abdomen as you reach and fold forward with your torso. From here, extend your arms all the way over your head, reaching your fingertips out in front of you. Straighten the arms, so your legs, torso, and arms are aligned. Now your left foot is reaching back, while the crown of the head and fingertips are reaching in the opposite direction forward.
  11. Again, if it feels too much reaching the arms forward bring your hands once more in front of the heart, alongside the body or on the ground.
  12. Finding a straight standing leg will help with your balance and then you can work on also straightening the lifted leg as much as you can. Keep an active and straight posture and focus on your breathing.
  13. Hold the pose for at least five, long breaths, with your gaze looking forward.
  14. When you are ready, slowly release the pose by lowering your left leg back next to your right leg. Standing back with both legs next to each other.

Cautions

Read the following cautions to stay safe

  • This can be a strenuous exercise, requiring a lot of balance. It is important you are feeling rested and ready for exercise when practicing this position.
  • Do not perform this pose when you are experiencing nausea, head aches or dizziness.
  • If you are concerned about anything of this pose, please contact your physician on whether this practice is good for you.

Making the pose easier

  • A slight easier version can be performed by keeping the arms alongside the body or by bringing the hands together in front of the heart.
  • If the balance is challenging you could keep your fingertips balancing on the floor or against the wall or chair. Make sure the distance to the wall or chair is big enough so you can extend the arms and legs, and only touch the wall or chair when the body is close to or is parallel to the floor.
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Suggested preparation poses

Suggested follow-up poses