January Yoga Pose of the Month- Warrior III
Continuing with our Warrior series Warrior 3 is another standing pose honouring the spiritual warrior in all of us. However, I prefer to think of this pose as the pose that lets our superhero selves unleash their wielding strength and fearlessness.So this to me is SUPERHERO pose!
Benefits of Warrior 3
Creates stability in the whole body
Strengthens legs, back and abdominal muscles
Improves balance and focus
Encourages better posture
Tones and invigorates the entire body
How to get into the pose
Start in Warrior 1 with the left foot forward, knee bent 90 degrees and back foot at about 45 degree angle, keeping hips squared to the front of the mat
With arms extended, slowly tilt the torso forward. As you shift your weight into the left leg ground down through all four corners of the left foot
Steady the left leg as you slowly extend the right leg behind you, parallel to the floor
Keep the right toes flexed and pointing down towards the floor
Imagine you are pushing that right foot into a wall behind you
Bring the arms and torso parallel to the floor and extend all the way from your fingers through the body into the right heel for one long line
Engage the belly by drawing the abdomen in and up
Focus your drishti (your focal point) on a place on the floor just in front of your mat
While you are balancing keep hip bones squared to the earth
Hold for 5 breaths and then bend the left knee as you gently lower the right leg back down to the mat returning to Warrior 1
Stay in warrior 1 for one breath before bringing the feet back together at the top of the mat and pausing for one more breath before starting the other side
Modifications and Variations
There are a variety of variations for the hands in Warrior 3, arms extended out is probably the most challenging. You could airplane your arms out from the shoulders with palms facing down to aide with balance, or bring the arms alongside your torso. You can also bring the hands to prayer at heart center or even place the hands on your hips.
Balancing in this pose can be challenging and I encourage beginners to start by using a chair (have the back of the chair facing you and hold onto it as you come into the pose).
You could also a wall or countertop to support your fingers and balance.
Blocks placed shoulder width apart under the fingertips could be used for balance as you work on your alignment through the torso, hips and legs
Practising Warrior 3 is challenging but also so very rewarding. Don’t be afraid to fall out of the pose, just reconnect with your breath and try again. The patience, strength and concentration needed for this pose comes with practice and along the way hopefully you will discover your own superpower to face all challenges with the same inner strength and dedication.