PRACTICE: The Balancing Warrior (Virabhadrasana/ Warrior III)

- Virabadrasana III -

The Balancing Warrior

 [ standing balance for hip stability, core + glute strength. ]


set-up 01 /

Stand with the feet about hips-width distance. Root both feet into the ground to secure a stable foundation for balancing. Lift up through the knee-caps to activate the quadriceps, the large group of muscles that make up the front of the thigh. Kickstand your right leg back behind you (as shown). This will be your working leg. Bring the hands onto the hips to help with hip-stability and to keep hips squared forward. Keep the chest open and shoulders away from the ears. Breathe in a relaxed manner, maintain a calm expression.


transition 02 /

Engage your lowest abdominal muscles by tucking your tailbone down. Maintain your sense of balance by squeezing the glute and external hip muscles toward the midline. Relax the chest until the ribs depress in toward the body rather than splaying outward. Imagine the muscles of the torso hugging inward toward the spine.

 Shift your weight into the left leg and foot. This is your standing, supporting leg. Keep everything nice and tight as you start to hinge forward from the hips until the torso is parallel with the ground. Keep reaching the crown of the head forward and the right foot straight back behind you, working toward extending the leg at hip height. The working, extended right leg may have a tendency to lift above the hip, but the hips must remain square. Keep a slight bend in the standing, supporting left leg to keep the leg muscles engaged and active, protecting the more vulnerable knee-joint.

Focus on strength, stability, and balance. Keep the chest open even more by squeezing the back muscles together and externally rotating at the shoulder joint. Imagine rolling shoulders backward to stretch across the chest. Watch for flaring of the low, floating ribs. Use strong exhales to "knit" the lower ribs inward. Challenge yourself to hold this posture for 3-5 breaths and then return to a standing position.  Reset and switch sides.

This works the thighs of the supporting leg and gluteal muscles of the working leg. It also challenges balance and stability and strengthens the core muscles. 

12 - 15 reps X 3 rounds; Each Side