Warrior III, or Virabhadrasana III, is the final in our series of three standing poses. Warrior III can be the most physically challenging in the series, as it is a balancing posture in addition to a standing one.
To come into Warrior III, begin in Tadasana. Shift your weight onto the right side of the body and then lift the left knee up towards the sky, finding an engagement of the core. Inhale here, and then exhale to tip the torso forward and extend the left leg out behind you. Feel roots growing through all four corners of the standing foot, while simultaneously flexing the left foot and keeping the hips square. The hands can meet in prayer at heart center, float by your sides, or even reach out in front of you. Feel free to bend the standing knee to maintain your balance, and try to keep the neck long and the gaze down, perhaps visualizing some beautiful landscape just beneath you as you soar powerfully in Virabhadrasana III. Stay here for about five deep, intentional breaths, and then take the other side.
Remember Warrior III’s namesake Virabhadra and the warning that his story provides: even in this posture that contains so much power, make sure to not go too far and do anything you might regret. Find places to soften all throughout your body, from your jaw to your forehead. The warrior poses ultimately remind us that the destructive, all-encompassing powers of strength serve no other purpose than to give us the ability to achieve integrity, compassion, and a loving state of mind.