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Balance Series #4: Warrior III

Introduction

Why start with 3? Doesn’t 1 and 2 come first? In a linear world, yes. But don’t fret if you can’t find Warrior I or II on my blog because they aren’t there (yet)! But in the context of the balance series, Warrior III is a pose that brings the strength and heat-building elements of a Warrior pose into the practice of balance.

How?

Start in Mountain pose, then place your arms in a comfortable position. Examples of arm positions include: prayer, straight above your head or out toward your sides. Simultaneously extend one leg backwards as you hinge from your hips. Lower your torso until you are parallel to the floor. You may need to bend the standing leg to help with balance. Also, you may want to change your arm position. Just keep in mind that changing the arm position can change your center of mass, and your weight will shift slightly as you move. Keep your lower back level. It is about length, not height, so try to keep your hips from rotating out. Imagine extending and lengthening in opposite directions from your navel. As you slow your breathing, picture your body becoming longer and lighter.

Why?

Who doesn’t want a longer, lighter body? Here are some other benefits.

  • Strengthens the neck, shoulders, calves, hamstring and back muscles
  • Stretches the muscles along the spine, the flexor muscles, calves, hamstrings and groin muscles
  • Corrects posture
  • Improves respiration
  • Improves focus and concentration

Conclusion

Balance is not necessarily doing things in a set order, and it’s alright to mix things up. Believe it or not, many times you can get to 3 without passing through 1 and 2. Yoga (and life) is about being aware of your needs and adapting to them. Own it!

When have you jumbled things up and ended up better off? Let me know in the comments!

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