How to Do Warrior 3 Pose

Virabhadrasana 3, in other words, Warrior 3 is a yoga posture/pose which entails concentration, energy, and stamina for maintaining a thoughtful, mindful calibration between push and pull-garnering energy in and extending it out. 

The word ‘Virabhadrasana’ is derived from the Sanskrit name ‘virabhadra’ denoting the name of a fierce and feisty warrior, touted to be the incarnation of Shiva, endowed with thousand heads, thousand eyes, and a thousand feet, as well as wielding a thousand clubs with tiger’s skin adorning as his piece of cloth.

Warrior 3 Pose Basics

Pose type: Standing posture

Targets: Full-body strength

Warrior 3 or Virabhadrasana 3 enhances balance and gait whilst strengthening core muscles. On the standing leg, this yoga posture stretches the back of the thigh (hamstring) and buttock (glute) and strengthens the front portion of the thigh (quadriceps) and ankle. On the lifted leg, this warrior pose stretches the front of the hip (hip flexor), including the psoas, whilst providing strength to the back of the thigh (hamstring) and buttock (glute).

Warrior 3 Pose Intermediate

Also known as Airplane Pose

Targets: Balance, legs, core

Warrior 3 poses a balance challenge to the standing Warrior sequence of yoga postures, balancing on one leg with the torso, arms, and other leg held parallel to the ground. It’s an energizing, vitalizing pose aiding in building up lower body and core strength, as well as mental focus. One can make the most of it as a part of an invigorating, rejuvenating experience by incorporating a sequence of standing yoga postures for home practice.

Nevertheless, step-by-step instructions will give a clear and fair understanding of what this Warrior 3 Pose or Virabhadrasana 3 is all about:

> Start with Warrior 1, which’s a lunge with the right foot forward, knee bent 90 degrees with knee over the foot, and rear leg extended. Bring your hands to your hips.

> Lean in a forward position for bringing weight into your right (forward) foot. Keep your left (rear) knee bent whilst floating your left foot up away from the floor about a foot.

> Straighten your right leg and continue to bring your torso towards a parallel position to the floor. Then use your torso going forward for counterbalancing left leg lifting and extending straight back. Eventually, both the torso and left leg will be parallel to the floor more or less at the same time. Keep the neck in a relaxed manner, giving the impression of it being a natural extension of the spine, with the gaze staying down towards the floor.

> Fully extend the left (upper) leg. Keep both hips level and pointing towards the floor. The left hip tends to cock up, so keep pointing it toward the direction of the floor. Your hands on your hips can aid you in giving this sort of feeling.

> Flex left (upper) foot keeping toes pointing down at the floor. Make it a point to actively engage the muscles of the left leg.

> Bring your arms back along the sides when you’re ready.

> Bend right leg for stepping back to Warrior 1.

> Repeat the yoga pose on the other side.

Variations of Warrior 3 

Blocks – For added stability, bring hands to blocks at any height instead of the floor.

Hands against a wall – If your balance and gait are elusive, stand facing a wall as you come into this Warrior yoga posture, placing your palms on the wall, and utilizing it for supporting yourself. Your leg may or may not be lifted high, but that’s fine.

Chair – Come into Warrior 3 Pose facing a chair and resting your hands on the seat or back portion of the chair as you lift one leg behind you.

Foot against a wall – Stand facing away from a wall as you come into this Warrior pose, placing the bottom of your elevated foot on the wall. Then press into the heel. Your leg may or may not be lifted at a higher position, and that’s perfectly okay.

Preparatory & Counter Poses – Stretch hips with your entire back body and shoulders before you come into Warrior 3 Pose, better known as Virabhadrasana 3 in Sanskrit term.

Preparatory Poses:

> Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose)

> Urdhva Hastanasana (Upward Salute)

> Plank Pose

> High Lunge

> Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana (Standing Splits)

> Parsovottanasana (Intense Side Stretch)

> Utkatasana (Chair Pose)

> Navasana (Boat Pose)

Counter Poses:

> Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

> Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

> Balasana (Child’s Pose)

Safety & Precautions – Avoid doing this pose if you have difficulty in balance, high blood pressure, or any injury to the hip, knee, ankle, back, or shoulder. Furthermore, if you’re pregnant, make sure that you have a chair as a support system in case you have balance issues. 

End this yoga posture if you experience any pain in the process.

Benefits of Warrior 3/Virabhadrasana 3

> Strengthens the ankles and legs.

> Strengthens the shoulders including the muscles of the back.

> Tones the abdomen.

> Improves balance, posture, and flexibility.

> Develops mental focus and concentration.

Learn Warrior 3 Pose/Virabhadrasana 3 at Diya Yoga – Yoga Alliance RYS200 school located at the breathtaking beach of Arambol, North Goa, India. Our best yoga teacher training programs merge ancient Vedic knowledge with modern asanas taught by skilled Indian and International yoga teachers. 

We deliver a comprehensive theoretical and practical training program during our 25-day structured course. On completion of our 200-hour teacher training program (YTT course), you’ll emerge as confident teacher teaching lessons to yoga enthusiasts. 

Be a part of our noble effort to spread the all-around benefits of yoga far and wide! 



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