Yoga asana breakdown: Warrior III

Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III) is the third asana (pose) that is named after the mythical warrior, Virabhadra. This pose is the most challenging Warrior asana, taking into account strength, flexibility and predominately balance. The body now is balancing on one leg and you are reaching the arms and leg in opposite directions parallel to the floor.
With all balancing asanas you must find your drishti (focus point) about two to three feet in front of you. This keeps your mind clear and aware throughout the balance. As well, with all standing postures you must work from the ground up, create stability in your ankles, knees, legs, and hips. By taking your time and setting up for poses, especially challenging balancing poses which help the body stay clam and focused.
To begin, I prefer to start in a high lunge with the ams extended overhead. From the high lunge posture, sink a little bit deeper in the hips or as i like to say, “take a dip in the hips”, on the exhalation kick off your back foot and balance on your front leg. Continuing to gaze at your drishti, begin to hinge at the hips, reaching your arms forward and reaching your heal back behind you. Continue to breath, as the body begins to create a capital “T”. Spread the toes of the balancing foot to firmly ground it to the earth. Keep the abdominal’s engaged to protect the lower back. Continue to reach and lengthen the spine. Keep length in the back of the neck, relax the shoulders and breath full deep expansive inhalations and exhalation. Feel the strength in the arms and back extended leg and breath into this wonderful strengthening asana.
To exit the posture, slowly bring the left foot back to the ground, as you are now in the high lunge again. Step the right foot back onto plank pose and go through a chaturanga and prepare for the other side of the body. Always continue to breath and listen to your body. Feel the great strength of Warrior III.
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