How to Do Warrior III Pose in Yoga (Guide to Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior III pose is a wonderful transition from warrior II pose where you would have ideally spent a little time warming up your legs, building focus, and opening your hips.

As a balancing pose, warrior III invites you to bring your focus inwards to improve stability. Because of this, it can be great for reducing stress and healing a busy mind!

“Warrior III pose is about much more than balancing on one leg,” says Yoga Answered contributor Keira Shepherd. “You’ll also need to draw on the strength of your core, hips, and overall focus.”

Warrior III Pose Quick Look

Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana III
Pose Type: Balancing Yoga Poses, Standing Yoga Poses, Strengthening Yoga Poses
Difficulty Level: Intermediate pose
Targets: Middle back, core, glutes, hamstrings, chest, hips, psoas, quads
Benefits: Warrior III strengthens the hips, arms, legs, core, and shoulders while improving your posture and increasing your focus and balance.
Preparatory Poses: High lunge pose, warrior I pose, warrior II pose

How to Do Warrior III Pose Step-By-Step

  1. Start by standing at the front of your mat with your feet together.
  2. Bring your hands into a prayer position in front of your chest.
  3. Bring the majority of your weight into your left leg, pushing into your left foot to start bringing your right foot away from the ground.
  4. Take an inhale.
  5. As you exhale, hinge from the left hip to bring your torso towards the ground whilst lifting your right leg behind you. Try to keep your torso and right leg in a straight line, moving them “as one”.
  6. Continue to hinge at your left hip until your torso and right leg are parallel to the ground beneath you.
  7. Keep your right toes pointing towards the ground.
  8. Gaze to the spot on your mat directly below your face.
  9. Slowly stretch your arms out in front of you as you lift your chest ever so slightly, almost as though you’re trying to create a gentle backbend.
  10. Keep pushing into your standing leg to stay grounded and improve your balance.

Beginner’s Tip

Bring a chair in front of you to rest your outstretched arms. This can help you build the strength you need in your core to remain in this position for a few breaths.

You can keep your hands in a prayer position at your heart center if it’s more comfortable.

Contraindications

  • Avoid this pose if you suffer from high blood pressure.
  • If you have pain in the back, you might prefer to practice a variation of this pose.

Variation

Place a block (or two) at its tallest height a couple of feet in front of your standing foot.

As you hinge forwards, bring your hands to the block to help you create alignment and balance in this pose.

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