Pose of the month: Virabhadrasana III – Warrior 3

Begin in Tadasana – Mountain pose

Step the right foot approximately 4 – 5 feet forward

The inner heel of the back, (left), foot should be parallel to the inner arch of the front right foot

This means the back foot should not be directly behind the front foot – As per Virabhadrasana I / Warrior I feet position

The hips should be aligned and facing forward

Inhale raise the arms up alongside the head

Exhale bend the front right leg to a right angle, as per Virabhadrasana I / Warrior I

Take a breath in

On the outbreath hinge the upper body forward and down so the chest comes down towards the right thigh

At the same time step the back foot in quite a bit

On the exhalation lunge the body forward whilst straightening the front leg and raising the back leg up and off the floor

The standing right leg should be perpendicular to the floor

The raised leg should be parallel to the floor

Both legs should be as straight as is comfortable

Both hips are square and facing down towards the floor

Arms are still outstretched alongside the head

Intentionally stretch the arms and hands away from the legs and the legs away from the arms and hands to stretch fully into the asana

Hold for 3 – 5 breaths as a beginner or 5 – 8 / 8-10 breaths for a more advanced practitioner

On the release raise the upper body upwards whilst lowering the back leg down simultaneously to being the feet together in Tadasana  /  Mountain pose and lower the arms down accordingly

Repeat and apply the same principles for the opposite side of the body

Counterpose /  Pratikryasana:

Samasthiti –  Mountain pose with feet hip distance apart

Tadasana – Mountain pose with feet together

Uttanasana / Standing forward bend or Ardha Uttanasana /  Half lift forward bend with the hands against a wall or the back of a chair

Balasana –  Child’s pose

Cautions and Modifications:

Do not raise the arms up above the head if prone to have high blood pressure

To focus more on the alignment of the hips and the steadiness of the balance, do not stretch the arms out instead place the hands on the hips when in the pose

Hands on the hips allows the focus to be on the alignment of the hips as one can feel if the hip is opening to the side or not and one can adjust accordingly

One can release back into Virabhadrasana I / Warrior I instead of into Tadasana /  Mountain pose

One can place the hands on a wall in line with the hips then walk away from the wall and fold the upper body down into a half lift forward bend

Then raise the right leg up into Virabhadrasana III

Align the hips accordingly

Hold for a few breaths and release

Repeat with the left leg

Rest in Ardha Uttanasana / Half lift forward bend

The same can be practiced with the arms outstretched and the hands resting on the back of a chair

Benefits:

Tones, develops and strengthens the leg muscles

Tones the abdominal muscles

Improves posture

Improves & increases power of concentration

Chakra Association:

Muladhara .  Root chakra for Grounding.

Remember to be patient and to persevere allowing the breath to soften the whole body in order to surrender to the pose with love and acceptance.

With Prem, (Love)

Juanita.