Five Yoga Poses for Warrior III

5 min read

Virabhadrasana III is one of the most mentally challenging postures in yoga. The body is in direct opposition, but the mind must remain focused.

Warrior III is a challenging workout for the hip flexors. It can also be hard on your hamstrings. But when performed correctly, it will give you an exhilarating feeling of flight.

Prepare for Warrior III with these five yoga poses:

The pyramid pose is designed to stretch the tight, forgotten leg ligaments. These ligaments will shorten and prevent the full extension of your legs in Warrior III.

How To Do It: Step your right foot between your hands from Downward Dog. Step your right foot forward between your hands. Rest your hands or tent your fingers on the blocks.

Exhale and fold your right leg over your front. Actively pull the right hip backwards while sending your left hip forward, as if you were able to rest a flat plate on your lower back.

Hold for five deep breaths. Continue to lower your head, letting the hair hang free and heavy. Repeat the same on the other side.

Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

High Lunge is the proudest pose. It works best with the legs in opposition as in Warrior III.

Pull the hamstrings of the front and back legs apart, so that you can sink lower.

How To Do It: Step your back leg further towards the backside of the mat, and bend your front foot. Inhale and stretch your arms up towards the ceiling. Biceps should be by the ears. Palms facing each other.

Exhale to push energy through the back heel until the left leg straightens. Exhale and push energy into the back heel to straighten the left leg.

Pull your lower abdominal in and upwards, as though your hips were touching your shoulders. Sink into the knee of the front leg, then stretch your fingertips and hold for three deep breaths. Repeat the same motion on the other side.

Virabhadrasana I

Both of these Warrior positions, like Warrior III work to stretch the legs and square the hips. Both require an engaged, active core to stabilize hips and torso.

How To Do It: Drop your heel down to the ground and pigeon toe your back leg. Press the outside edge of your back foot into the outer left thigh.

The arms continue to reach upwards with the elbows at the ears and the torso facing ahead.

The majority of the action in Warrior I comes from a slight twisting at the waist, as the hips are stretched against each other. Do not be afraid to engage the left hip-flexor and sink deeper.

Imagine you have headlights on the back of your hips that want to shine straight ahead. Hold for three breaths and then repeat on the other side.

Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Standing split is a balance that requires similar muscular involvement as Warrior III. The standing leg is used to lift the entire body in both poses.

To stabilize the body, focus on engaging the outer stripe of the standing leg and, in particular, the outer hip.

How To Do It: Starting with Warrior 1, bring your hands down around your right front foot, and raise your left back leg towards the ceiling. The left foot may be pointed or flexed, but the hips should remain square. Hands can be placed under the shoulders, or you can walk towards the leg that is standing and wrap one or both of your hands around it.

Standing Splits are essentially a forward folding. Continue to lower the head towards the floor, relaxing the neck. Use the upper body for leverage and lift the bag leg higher. For three deep breaths, keep your arms folded. Repeat the same on the other side.


Tree pose, the pinnacle in balancing poses, is essential for inner and outer harmony. Vriksasana calms the nervous system, creates inner harmony and prepares the body to focus on the metal in Warrior III.

How To Do It: Standing Splits, bring your left leg slowly towards your chest while standing. Place your left heel high in your right leg as you stand.

It is important to not press the left foot against the knee. Imagine pressing the heel of your left foot against the outer right thigh to contract the entire standing quadriceps.

The tailbone will waggle slightly to the left in order to maintain stable hips. Start with your hands in a prayer, pressing your thumbs into your sternum. You can also grow your branches and raise your hands towards the ceiling.

Close your eyes, and let the gaze go inwards. Repeat the exercise on the opposite side.

Ready, set, go!

As you float parallel to the floor, extend your left leg back behind you. Push energy through the heel of the back leg with the back leg strong and straight.

The arms can be placed by the side or at the ears with the biceps tense and ready for flight. Just enough to open the heart, arch the upper body. Keep the body lifted and light by breathing deeply.

The hips and thighs must be engaged. You should find a place that challenges the legs but allows the heart to remain open and free.

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