Warrior 3, also known as Virabhadrasana III, is the most dynamic balancing and standing yoga pose that strengthens your legs and ankles as well as your back muscles and shoulders.
Warrior pose brings a lot of power and energy within your body and is therefore considered a warrior pose. It can increase your posture and increase your balance.
Experienced yogis often transition from warrior 1 to warrior 3, stretching their arms over their head, breathing out and bringing their body toward their forward leg.
To understand the meaning of this yoga asana it’s better to see it as a combination of three Sanskrit words “Vira + bhadra + asana“:
- “Vira” = “warrior or hero”
- “bhadra” = “friend”
- “asana” = “pose or posture”
Warrior Pose 3 called “Veerabhadrasan III” in Sanskrit, this pose is named after the legendary Hindu warrior, Veerabhadra. A long, dark and powerful avatar of Lord Shiva, a fierce warrior, Virabhadra is often depicted as having a thousand heads, eyes and feet.
Draped in a tiger skin, this warrior forms a thousand clubs. In the original story of Virabhadra, he is born from Shiva’s head from a single dreaded person, a manifest form of anger that he realizes that his true love has died. The shape of Warrior Pose 3 (Virabhadrasana III) comes from this story, the moment when Veerabhadra beheads the king Daksha and proceeds forward to place the head on a stake.
Despite the outward appearances and violent origins, this powerful yoga asana is actually a great reminder of our own inner strength and measures taken in the name of true love.
Combining mythological and meaning belief, the pose is intense and requires full-body coordination.
|Also known as:||Warrior Pose 3, Virabhadrasana III|
|Sanskrit name:||वीरभद्रासन III|
|Total time:||30 to 60 seconds|
At the floor
|Chakra:||Manipura Chakra, Swadisthana Chakra, Muladhara Chakra|
|Counterposes:||Uttanasana, Eka pada rajakapotasana|
|Preparatory poses:||Half Moon Pose, Wide Stance Forward Bend Pose, Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose, Reclined Hero Pose, Upward Extended Feet Pose, Chair Pose, Standing Forward Bend Pose, Warrior 2 Pose, Warrior 1 Pose, Hero Pose, Tree Pose|
|Follow-up poses:||Eka pada rajakapotasana, Halasana, Hanumanasana, Natarajasana, Navasana, Salamba sirsasana, Utkatasana|
|Indications:||Balance, posture, concentration, memory|
|Contraindications:||High blood pressure, injury to ankle, legs, hip, back, or shoulder|
Benefits of Warrior 3 Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
All yoga poses have their own benefits on the body and the mind if done with a proper connection between the breath and the body. Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana III) has physical and mental benefits — Its own way of healing the body and making it stronger.
- Physical Benefits:
- Enhances muscular endurance
- Strengthens the feet, ankles, calves, knees, and thighs
- Stretches the hips and groin
- Improves circulation
- Improves balance
- Mental Benefits:
- Develops willpower
- Stimulates the mind
- Builds focus
Step by step Warrior 3 Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
Start by standing in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Stand tall and straight with the feet separated enough to feel stable. Establish a solid connection with the ground by shifting the weight distribution so that it is equally divided between the base of the big toes, the base of the little toes, and both left and right sides of the heels.
Exhale and fold the body into a standing forward bend. From there, exhale and step the left foot straight behind you into a deep lunge. Keep the right knee bent at a 90-degree angle. Rest the middle of the torso on the center of the right thigh and brace both sides of the right knee with both hands. Squeeze the hands into your knee, raise the torso slightly, exhale and slightly turn it to the right.
Extend the arms forward, keeping them parallel to the ground with palms facing. Breathe out and press the top of the right thigh backward, pushing the heel of the right foot into the ground. Straighten the left leg and raise the right leg straight behind you at the same time. Press the tailbone into your pelvis to create resistance as you raise your back leg.
Shift the body forward by transferring most of the body weight onto the ball of the left foot. Straighten the left knee to anchor the heel of the left foot firmly. At this point, the body, arms and raised leg should be parallel to the ground. If the abdomen is tilted, release the hip of the raised leg downward until the hip points are even. Extend the back leg behind you, as you reach forward with the arm. Raise the head slightly and gaze forward without crimping the back of the neck.
Stay in this pose for 30-60 seconds. To release yourself from this pose, exhale and come out of the lunge. Place the hands beside your right foot. Exhale; bring the left foot forward until it is parallel with the right and you have returned to a forward bend.
Stay in the forward bend for a few breaths and then repeat this process with the left leg extended behind you.
Modifying Warrior Pose 3 (Virabhadrasana III)
Practicing Warrior Pose 3 (Virabhadrasana III), including some props, may make it less intense. Start with the following:
1. Using a chair
- Place a chair next to you by sticking with your back near your mat.
- Use the top part of the chair, pulling the arms forward.
- As you learn to stretch, slide the chair completely away from you and rest your palms on it to seek support.
2. Against the wall
Similar to a chair, the wall can be used for arms or as a support for a raised leg.
3. Using yoga blocks
- Take two yoga blocks for one hand and place them on your mat.
- Start with balancing the hands on the block without bending and move the left leg backward.
- Lift your left leg up when everything aligns.
- Then slowly raise the arms one by one and add the movement of the hand to it.
4. Yoga strap
- After reaching a balanced position in Warrior Pose 3 (Virabhadrasana III), it may be your thing to use a yoga strap.
- Make a loop through the strap to completely cover you from the heel to the hip bone.
- Putting the strap under the left heel and reaching the right hip bone while maintaining balance on the right foot.
- Raise left leg up with a strap that creates extra stretch.
Contraindications of Warrior Pose 3 (Virabhadrasana III)
Warrior 3 pose (Virabhadrasana III), as the name suggests, it needs to bring the body like that Warrior. And for this you have to understand the body and its strength. Some contraindications should be taken:
- Individuals with high blood pressure should not perform this yoga asana, as the body needs to focus on focused in order to stay balanced. The sudden flow of blood in the brain does not suit the individuals suffering from blood pressure.
- Individuals struggling with back problems should avoid it or do so under proper guidance at every step.
- Some individual find it difficult to look down and may suffer from migraines thus causing giddiness.
- Spondylitis, another condition where individuals should avoid this yoga pose, thus these are some of the conditions and situations that need to be taken into mind.
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Written by Anjali Kumari. She is a certified yoga instructor, Diploma in Make up, Nails and Beauty, Diploma in Nutrition, Food, Science and Menu Planning. Anjali is the destination of choice for the latest updates, tips and resources in beauty, health and wellness, and all topics that mean the most to today’s woman. Whether it’s advice from a trusted expert or a DIY tutorial, she has it all. She is passionate and obsessive about science and how it can be applied in daily lifestyle. According to her, food is the best medicine and proper nutrition is the key to achieving good health and beauty. When she is not working, she likes to spend quality time with family and friends. She loves creating innovative, healthy recipes and healthy choices for foods to promote good health.