Virabhadrasana 3 (Warrior Pose III)- Steps and Benefits

By Patricia | November 5, 2008
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Warrior Pose III (Virabhadra asana) is named after Virabhadra a fierce warrior, accredited with being an incarnation of Lord Shiva. Hence it is also called Virabhadra asana. This Pose is a dynamic standing pose and, like in the Triangle Pose, that calls for stamina and a bit of effort. It is a powerful pose carrying with it many benefits.

Steps Of Warrior Pose III (Virabhadra asana)

  1. Start the Pose in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Inhale and step part your legs 2 ½ to 3 feet apart and raise your arms up parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor. Firm the muscles in the back of your shoulders and draw them in.
  2. Rotate your right foot slightly, 45 to 60 degrees to your left and your left foot out around 90 degrees to your left. Align your left heel with your right. Exhale and rotate your torso to your left, squaring the front of your pelvis as much as you can.
  3. With your right heel firmly secured to the floor, exhale and bend your left knee over your left ankle so that your shin is perpendicular to the floor. More flexible students could align their left thigh parallel to the floor.
  4. Reach out through your arms and raise your ribcage away from your pelvis. As you ground down through your back foot, feel a lift running up your back leg, across your chest and abdomen, and up into your arms. If possible, bring your palms together. Keep your head neutral, look forward, or tilt it slightly back wards and gaze up at your thumbs.
  5. Hold the pose for ½ a minute to one 1 minute. To come out of the pose, take a deep breath, press your back heel firmly into the floor and reach up through your arms, straightening your left knee. Turn your feet forward and release your arms with a deep exhale.
  6. Take a few breaths, then turn your feet to the right and repeat the pose for the same length of time on the other side then return to Tadasana.


  • Warrior Pose III stretches the muscles of the thighs and hamstrings, strengthens legs, back muscles, shoulders and arms while expanding the lungs, chest and shoulders.
  • Warrior Pose III also tones and invigorates the whole body, builds up strength in the abdominal muscles, pelvic and spinal region. In the process, it stimulates your abdominal organs, thereby improving digestion


  • Warrior Pose III is best avoided in cases of high blood pressure, chronic hip and leg problems and lower backaches
  • It should also be avoided by pregnant women.
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