Warrior III Pose – an intermediate-level balance pose – is a great way to improve your balance, stability, and posture. Here’s how to do it…
One of the most important functions that yoga can provide is improving your balance and body awareness. A strong core and a good sense of balance improves posture and stability, and helps prevent injury. Especially as we age, balance is important for avoiding falls that could cause serious harm.
As we shared during our Wednesday workout this week, there are many different yoga postures that can help you develop this important aspect of good health. The Warrior poses are all excellent poses to help improve your balance and stability. Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III) is an intermediate-level balance pose that can be particularly challenging for beginners – especially if you have problems with balance. If you are new to the pose, practice the pose while lightly holding onto the back of a chair, or work with a partner and take turns supporting each other in the pose. Once you are able to balance in the pose, you may find it easier to hold your arms along your sides. When you are ready, stretch your arms straight up by your ears in the full pose (pictured below).
Besides improving balance and posture, Warrior III also strengthens the legs, ankles, shoulders, and back, and tones and strengthens the core abdominal muscles. It may also help to energize the body, while helping to improve concentration and memory.
Check with your doctor before doing Warrior III pose if you have high blood pressure.
Here is a step-by-step guide to performing Warrior III pose, from GotYoga.com:
First, stand up with your feet on the floor in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). With an exhale, perform Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend).
From this position, move your left foot back and try to get your body into a high lunge without worrying about the angle of your right foot.
Align the middle part of your torso down to the right hip. Bring your arms to your knees, with your left hand on your right knee and your right hand on your left knee.
Apply pressure on your knees with your hands. Then lift your upper body and turn slightly to your right.
While you stand in the lunge position, extend your arms forward parallel to each other. Make sure your palms are facing each other.
To find balance, press the heel on the front and straighten your front leg. As you lift your back leg, resist the tendency to press your tailbone into your pelvis.
Now you have two options: you can either stretch your torso forward or straighten your front knee and lift your back leg.
The first option might be easier for some, but it tends to bring all the weight into one place, which is the right foot.
The second option provides more stability, though it might seem more difficult at first glance, because the hip and the joints work together to keep you balanced.
Your entire upper body area should be parallel with the ground. The pelvis will have the tendency to tilt for many yoga practitioners who are just getting started with the pose. To fix this, make sure that both sides of your hips are even.
Push your back leg against the wall behind you to get a little bit of resistance as well as to help your upper body reach forward with you arms.
Align your leg, spine, and neck and gaze forward while drawing a straight line with your body.
Hold the pose for at least 30 seconds to a minute, and release it with an exhalation back to a lunge.
Bring your hands down on the mat.Then do the same with your legs. Repeat the pose by lifting the other leg and holding it for another 30-60 seconds.
A 3-D View of Warrior III: