Virabhadrasana III or Warrior III

Benefits, Contraindications, Tips and How to Do

English Name(s)
Virabhadrasana III, Warrior III
Sanskrit
वीरभद्रासन / Vīrabhadrāsana
Pronunciation
veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-anna Three
Meaning
vīrabhadra: “warrior”
asana: “posture”

Introduction

Virabhadrasana III (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-annaThree) is a challenging pose – it gives elasticity to the hip joints and back and leg muscles, and strengthens the back, while removing cramps in the legs, hips, and back. It also aids in digestion and elimination and helps melt excess fat off the body. This pose also helps improve coordination and balance.

Yoga is a great way for people of all ages and fitness levels to get some exercise in. A recent study found that based on injury rates per 1000 practice hours, yoga seems just as safe or safer than other types of exercises like running, etc.

Muscle Focus

Warrior III Pose focuses on several muscles such as

  • Leg Muscles (Soleus, Quads, and other leg muscles)
  • Back muscles (Rhomboids, Trapezius, Latissimus Dorsi)
  • Chest Muscles (Pectoralis)
  • Arm Muscles (Shoulders, Biceps, and Triceps)

Ideal For Health Conditions

  • To improve Body and Mind coordination
  • To activate pelvic muscles
  • It helps to align the spine
  • To increase focus and concentration

Benefits of Virabhadrasana III or Warrior III

1. Melts Excess Fat off the Body

This pose helps to melt away excess fat on the body. This is because it requires a lot of muscle engagement, which in turn burns calories. Additionally, the long hold time in this pose also helps to burn more calories.

2. Aids Digestion and Elimination

This pose helps improve digestion and elimination by stretching out the abdominal muscles and the entire digestive system. Additionally, the deep breathing involved in this pose helps to oxygenate the organs and improve their function.

3. Strengthens the Back

This pose is great for strengthening the back muscles. It requires a lot of extension and flexion of the spine, which works to tone and strengthen these muscles. Additionally, it helps to improve posture and alignment.

4. Stretches the Hips and Legs

This pose is a great stretch for the hips and legs. It opens up the hip joints and stretches out the hamstring, calf, and ankle muscles. This can help to improve flexibility in these areas.

5. Improves Body and Mind Coordination and Balance

This pose requires a lot of balance and coordination. It is a great way to improve these skills. Additionally, it can help to increase strength and stability in the ankles and hips.

6. It is one of the Multiplanar Postures

This pose is a multiplanar posture, which means that it works on multiple planes of movement. This helps to improve coordination and balance, as well as overall body strength.

7. Core Muscles are Engaged

This pose requires a lot of engagement from the core muscles. This helps to strengthen these muscles, as well as improve stability and balance.

8. It Improves Breath-Focus

This pose helps to improve breath focus by requiring deep, controlled breaths. This can help to improve overall focus and concentration.

9. Reduces Stiffness in the Neck, Shoulders, and Back

This pose is great for reducing stiffness in the neck, shoulders, and back. It helps to stretch out these areas and relieve tension and pain.

Contraindications

Those with knees injuries should do this pose with the support of a chair. Women who are pregnant or menstruating should avoid this pose as it develops too much heat in the body. Avoid overarching the lower back and neck in this pose. Those with neck injuries should look downwards.

Variations

  • Dekasana (Airplane Pose)

Preparatory Pose

  • Tadasana (Moutain Pose)
  • Urdhva Hastotanasana (Palm Tree Pose)
  • Anjaneyasana (Lunge Pose)
  • Natrajasana (Dancer Pose)

Beginner’s Tips

  • Keep your core engaged throughout the entire pose. This will help you maintain balance and stability.
  • Make sure that your arms are parallel to your ears and that your body is in a straight line. This will help you stay in the correct alignment.
  • If you find it difficult to balance, start by practicing this pose against a wall. This will help give you some stability until you are able to do it without assistance.

How to do Warrior III Pose

  • Assume Mountain Pose or Tadasana. From here, take a big step back with your left foot.
  • Lift your arms up overhead keeping the elbows extended.
  • Shift your entire body weight on your right leg.
  • Slowly start to lift your left leg back and up while simultaneously hinging on your hip joint.
  • Your arms should remain parallel to your ears keeping the entire body in a straight line.
  • Until your right leg is perpendicular to the rest of your body, keep doing it.
  • Hold this pose for a few breaths.
  • To release, slowly come back to the starting position and switch legs.

Mental Benefits of Warrior III Pose

  • Improves focus and concentration.
  • Reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Improves body and mind coordination.

Bottom Line

Virabhadrasana III or Warrior III is a great pose for improving overall strength, flexibility, and balance. It has many benefits for the body and mind. Give it a try today!

1 sources
  1. https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12906-019-2612-7
Meera Watts
Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur, and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, Yoganonymous, OMtimes, and others. She’s also the founder and owner of Siddhi Yoga International, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh, Goa, and Dharamshala), Indonesia (Bali), and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur).

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