Vira means hero or brave. Bhadra means virtuous. In this asana, the warrior is diving into action head and heart first. Diving into action and letting go of the outcome is one of the first principles of yoga. Easier said than done? You are not alone! In our outcome oriented culture, it can be challenging to let go of our “what if’s”. However, according to yogic wisdom, whenever you manage to do it, you are that one step closer to enlightenment. At the very least, you will experience the liberation and freedom of following your heart and letting go of your fear. In and of itself, this is a virtuous, worthy, and heroic goal.
Benefits of Warrior 3
- This posture can be a powerful tool in helping us develop witness consciousness.
- Frees blockages in the energy centers along the spine.
- Improves alignment and stabilization of the hips.
- Modifications might be necessary for those who suffer from leg, knee, ankle, or foot pain.
- Recently suffered a stroke or a heart attack.
- Feel a gentle pressure across the balls of both feet. Maintain this activation of your feet as you gently release your toes onto the mat. Slide your left leg back, extending from the ankle. Bring your torso and your back leg in one line.
- Bring your hands to the sides of your body with your palms facing you. Reach through your fingertips, drawing your shoulders away from your ears.
- If it feels available to you, lift your back leg, keeping the leg and the torso in one line and pivot forward.
- Think of your torso and back leg as a teeter-totter. Your standing leg is the pivot point.
- Pivot forward as far as is available to you. Advanced students may even bring the torso and back leg parallel to the Earth.
- Lengthen through your waist so that both sides of the rib cage and the waist are level to the earth.
- Engage the muscles of the standing leg without hyper-extending the knee.
- Allow the thigh muscles of the supporting leg to embrace the femur.
- Keep your pelvis stable and neutral.
- Feel space across the front and the back side of the shoulders.
- Feel space between each and every vertebra and allow each inhale to expand these spaces a little more. This brings the lumbar, thoracic, and cervical curves into a mild extension.
- Slowly lower the leg toward the earth as the torso returns to an upright position. Maintain one long line between the torso and the back leg as you return to the starting position.