March Asana of the Month: Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III)

Each month we choose a pose to focus on in each class through strong attention to alignment, variations, and/or modifications as a way to grow and expand our yogic horizons. – By Asana Girl (a.k.a. Danielle Polen)

Asana- Vira 3 Mar13-Color

According to Light on Yoga, practicing Virabhadrasana III helps one attain “harmony, balance, poise, and power. It helps … contract and tone the abdominal organs and makes the leg muscles more shapely and sturdy. It is recommended for runners, as it gives vigor and agility. All the movements of this asana improve one’s bearing and carriage. When we stand badly, by throwing the weight on the heels, we retard symmetrical growth and hamper spinal elasticity. Standing with the weight on the heels causes the stomach to protrude and lessens bodily and mental agility. This asana helps one … stand firmly on the soles of the feet, keeps the stomach muscles in, and gives agility to the body and mind.”

Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III):

Virabhadra = “the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, described as having a thousand heads, a thousand eyes, and a thousand feet; wielding a thousand clubs; and wearing a tiger’s skin.” (yogajournal.com)

Benefits (according to yogajournal.com):

  • Strengthens the ankles and legs
  • Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
  • Tones the abdomen
  • Improves balance and posture

Cautions/Contraindications: 

  • High Blood Pressure

Preparatory Poses:

  • Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I)
  • Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
  • Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
  • Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Fold)
  • Supta Padangusthasana (Reclined Big-Toe Stretch)
  • Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
  • (and many more…)

Song that Most Comes to Mind While in the Posture:

Coldplay’s “No More Keeping My Feet on the Ground”

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