The Stanly News and Press (Albemarle, NC)

Special Sections

September 12, 2012

Warrior III for power and balance

Wednesday, September 12, 2012 — One of the best parts about having years of Yoga practice under my belt is that I can see a pose go from one of my least favorites to one of my most favorites.  That is definitely the case with Warrior III, or Virabhadrasana III.  

Warrior III is an empowering balancing pose that requires proper alignment and abdominal strength to accomplish and hold. Because you cannot see the leg lifted behind you, it is a little difficult to know if your hips are square and if your lifted leg is spiraling inward.  I tell my students that you probably need to rotate your big toe down and in more than you think you should.

My legs are longer than my arms, so until I am ready to balance, I prefer to place my hands on blocks to help me get my torso parallel to the floor.  This is also a great option if your hamstrings are a little tight to add some ease to the standing leg.  Never be afraid to use props to enhance your practice.

This pose will strengthen your ankles, legs, back and abdominals while it improves your balance, posture and alignment.  If you do not love it at first, give it a chance to settle into your body and you might find that you eventually you will.

To practice this posture, start from a standing forward fold at the top of your mat.  

Place your hands on the floor or blocks directly under your shoulders and keep your left foot planted under your left hip.

 Begin to lift your right leg up behind you as you bring the crown of your head forward and press your right heel toward the back of the room.

Flex your toes back toward your knee as you point the big toe straight down to the floor.  

In Yoga we utilize this “inward spiral” by using our inner thigh muscles to rotate the leg slightly inward.  Inner thigh strength is directly associated with balance, so finding this spiral will make it easier to hold this leg up and lift the hands off the floor.

If you want to play with balancing in Warrior III, begin to lift one hand up at a time and place it either on your heart or reach it forward or backward.  Once you feel steady with one hand lifted, explore lifting the other to the same space.  Be sure to keep your eyes on your drishti, or focal point.  

Take five to seven breaths in and out slowly through your nose before repeating on the other side.  Feel empowered and like a strong warrior.

Cindy Brewer, RYT, is a certified Yoga and Pilates teacher and the owner of Albemarle Pilates and Yoga.  For more information, check out .


Text Only
Special Sections
  • Jeannie Langston Human trafficking, modern-day form of slavery

    Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery where people profit from the control and exploitation of others.

    February 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • Dr. Larry Bridge Good posture helps improve health

    The effect of poor posture on health is becoming more evident and is an ever increasing problem.

    February 27, 2013 1 Photo

  • Laucher Family Yoga can be for the whole family

    Two of the best things about yoga are that the whole family can participate and that people in all stages of life can benefit from it.

    February 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • Dr. Larry Bridge Chiropractic and a healthy you

    Throughout the last year I wrote about the many musculoskeletal ailments people experience and how chiropractic can play a role in alleviating some of the aches and pains associated with daily living.

    February 6, 2013 1 Photo

  • Partner with healthcare provider for better results

    Healthcare today is changing. With more access to information, more information available, and more choices about our health care, we are becoming smarter health care consumers.

    January 30, 2013

  • Jeannie Langston Characteristics of an abuser

    If you are in a relationship or beginning a new relationship there are signs to look for to determine if your significant other is a potential abuser.

    January 30, 2013 1 Photo

  • Happy Yoga Yoga, meditation are tools to control anxiety, stress

    Everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news on Sept. 11, 2001.

    January 23, 2013 1 Photo

  • Ann Hudson Cook's Corner

    All of these are my favorites, but the pancake recipe is the best pancake I have eaten.

    January 14, 2013 1 Photo

  • Dr. Christina Adams Simple things help make healthy aging possible

    Have you noticed that the numbers in the phone book seem smaller and harder to read? Is getting down on your knees to look under the bed more difficult? Do you reach for support to stand?

    January 9, 2013 1 Photo

  • John Foutz Yoga for hair loss

    I was inspired to write about how yoga can help with hair loss when a friend told me that he had begun losing his hair during a stressful time in his life and since he has started a consistent yoga practice, his hair has come back in thick and healthy.

    January 9, 2013 1 Photo

House Ads
Featured Comment
Twitter Updates
Seasonal Content
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide