Learning the Language of Yoga: Warrior Pose 3 #MovementMondays

The third warrior pose – Virabhadrasana 3 – can be the trickiest. Why? Because it introduces the element of balance. To maintain a strong standing balance, I’ve always found that a strong core (your abs) helps.

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  • Getting into it: from Tadasana (mountain pose), step your left foot back to a lunge position. Raise your arms along your ears. Your right knee is bent and over your ankle. Begin to hinge your torso forward to hover above your right thigh. Your arms are now reaching forward. Begin to fire up the muscles in your right leg. Find a stable point to look at in front of you. When ready, come up on your left toes and slowly begin to lift the leg up off the mat. Your right leg is now holding your weight – keep it strong. Bring your left leg up so your hips are level and parallel to the mat. Point your left toes and reach your right fingertips forward. Feel long and strong. Stay for three to five breaths and step back to a lunge or step your feet together to exit the pose. Repeat this pose on the other side to balance out your body.


  • Tips and tricks:
    • Find your ‘drishti’ – a stationary point in front of you to focus your gaze (ideally not another person!).
    • Try different arm variations –  forward, out to the sides, or back alongside your torso.
    • Push the thighbone back in your standing leg to avoid a locked or hyperextended knee.
    • Engage your core and the glute muscles in your standing leg.
  • Benefits: 
    • Strengthens your legs and ankles, and even your glutes.
    • Strengthens your shoulders and back muscles as well.
    • Tones your abdominal muscles for a strong core.
    • Improves your balance and enhances your posture.

There you have it – the three traditional warrior poses in yoga. These poses have many benefits and help strengthen your legs and core for trickier balances and deeper standing poses.

Natalie Anthony, BA, RYT-200 Yoga Instructor

After a serious accident, Natalie was revived by discovering the physical and emotional benefits of yoga. Her yoga journey began as a client at Balance, and evolved into a passion for teaching the practice to others. Natalie is registered with the International Yoga Alliance as an instructor. Her creative sequencing inspires students to develop strength, flexibility and joy – both on and off the mat. Natalie instructs group classes and facilitates private one-on-one Yoga sessions at Balance, a Toronto boutique fitness and wellness centre. balancefit.com