Virabhadrasana III (Pose Dedicated to the Warrior Virabhadra) | Page 2 | iHanuman

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Virabhadrasana III

English Name: 
Pose Dedicated to the Warrior Virabhadra
Practice Type: 
Practice Level: 
Asana Image: 
Lois Steinberg PhD in Virabhadrasana III
Asana Description: 

Geometry: While balancing on the right Leg perpendicular to the floor, the whole body is stretched straight and parallel to the floor.
Fingertips touching the wall
Fingertips on the ground


Actions:

From Virabhadrasana I, exhale and extend the trunk and arms forward over the right thigh. Keep the palms together, if possible. Keep the chest close to the right thigh.

Move the torso towards the arms and raise the left heel.

Straighten the right leg and lift the left leg up to parallel to the floor.

Stretch the arms and torso forward and stretch the left leg back. The right leg is straight and perpendicular to the floor.

The entire body, arms, trunk and left leg are parallel to the floor and balanced on the standing leg.
Gaze at the thumbs. (YGW)

Stretch the left leg backwards and the trunk forward. The center of gravity is in the right thigh, which should be firm like a rod.

Return by bending the right leg and lower the left foot to the floor. Place the torso on the bent leg and then raise the torso up (like a lever)  into Virabhadrasana I.

Practice on the other side. Return to Tadasana.

 

Possible Second Teachings:

Tailbone lengthens down towards the heels and the front of the pubis lifts up to lengthen the lower back and to firm the abdomen.

Gaze forward towards your thumbs and keep the arms in line with the ears to keep the chest lifted and not collapsed.

Take the outer arms in to take the shoulder blades into the back and lift the chest.

Roll the front thighs in and extend the inner thigh up towards the ceiling.

Extend through the feet and press the thighs back.

***Place the torso on the thigh.

***Extend through the inner ankle

Common Issues:

Standing leg is not straight.

Pelvis is not level.

Torso is lifted too high - not parallel to the floor.

Lifted leg is too low - not parallel to the floor.

Lifted leg not fully extended. 

Sanskrit Pronunciation: 
Classification: 
Energetic: 
Benefits: 

Harmony. Balance. Poise. Power. This asana helps to contract and tone the abdominal organs. This pose is recommended for runners, as it gives vigour and agility. The movements of this asana improve one’s bearing and carriage. Standing with the weight on the heels causes the stomach to protrude and lessens bodily and mental agility. This asana helps one to stand firmly on the soles of the feet, keeps the stomach muscles in and gives agility to the body and the mind. - BKS Iyengar, Light on Yoga

Beginners Tips: 

Learn the process of concentration while balancing. If the body wavers, the mind wavers and if the mind wavers, the body wavers. - Geeta Iyengar, Preliminary Course

Modifications and Props : 

If the body is heavy and balancing is difficult, practice Virabhadrasana III with the fingertips touching the wall until you are firm in that position (pregnant women can follow this method.) Then practice away from the wall. One can practice lifting each leg alternately, in quick succession. If lifting the leg is difficult, practice with the fingertips on the ground, trunk parallel to the ground, head up and forward and practice lifting the leg straight up. - Geeta Iyengar, Preliminary Course

Contraindications: 

If the body is heavy and balancing is difficult, practice Virabhadrasana III with the fingertips touching the wall until you are firm in that position (pregnant women can follow this method.) Then practice away from the wall. One can practice lifting each leg alternately, in quick succession. If lifting the leg is difficult, practice with the fingertips on the ground, trunk parallel to the ground, head up and forward and practice lifting the leg straight up. - Geeta Iyengar, Preliminary Course

Sequences: 

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