Finding Joy in Movement

Virabhadrasana 3/ Warrior 3

Warrior 3 is an energetic balancing pose that works the back side of the body, as well as strengthening the thigh and lengthening the hamstrings and glute of the standing leg.

We will start this pose from a lunge with the right foot forward. The hands can be (in order of challenge) brought together at the heart, you can extend the arms out to the sides, or you can reach the arms out in front, palms facing each other. The shoulder blades should stay comfortably wide across the back no matter which variation you choose. Leaning the torso forward, bring your weight into the right foot. Take a moment to stabilize yourself here, then simultaneously straighten the right leg and lift the left. Keep the tailbone tucked, and try to press evenly into the heel and sole of the right foot.

The body should ideally be parallel to the floor with a straight line from the left foot out through the crown of the head or extended hands. While you will feel most of the work in the back side of the body (hamstrings, glutes, and spinal extensors) try to support the body by engaging the thighs and abdominals. Keep the unsupported left hip in line with the supported right hip. If the hamstrings are tight and you have a hard time preventing the hip from opening up here, it is OK to bend the standing leg somewhat, though this will give the thigh a bit more of a workout (not necessarily a bad thing). Extend strongly through the left foot and reach forward with the sternum. The gaze can be comfortably down or for more of a challenge (and more traditional) you can look forward.

Stay in the pose long enough to feel like the muscles are getting a good workout, then rest and repeat for the same amount of time on the second side.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you or see you at one of my classes!

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