Warrior Pose III - Virabhadrasana III

Warrior Pose III (front) - Iana Varshavska


Warrior Pose III, also known as Virabhadrasana III in Sanskrit, is a challenging yoga pose that strengthens the legs, core, and improves balance and stability.

Warrior Pose III or Virabhadrasana III is considered a base pose as Warrior pose III variations can be derived from this pose. This pose is often included in vinyasa and power yoga classes and is great for toning the legs, glutes, core, and back muscles.

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1
Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose) with your feet together and arms alongside your body. Distribute the weight evenly in your feet. If you have a hard time staying balanced here stand with the feet hips distance apart and parallel to one another.
Step 2
Bring the hands to prayer at your heart as you begin to shift the weight into your right foot. Then, gently start to lean the torso forward as the left leg reaches straight back. Bring the body parallel with the earth. Engage the core by drawing the navel in and up towards the spine.
Step 3
Root down through the standing foot and distribute the weight evenly throughout the foot without gripping in the toes. The standing knee should be slightly bent so as not to lock out the knee.
Step 4
Activate the back leg and flex the toes towards your face as the heel presses back into an imaginary wall. Raise the leg further by lifting the inner thigh towards the sky while you draw the left outer hip towards the earth. The hips are even and parallel to the earth. Your arms can be shooting straight back alongside your body with the thumbs pointed towards the ground, hands in prayer at your heart or reaching forward overhead with the thumbs pointed up towards the sky. *Modifications: Place your hands on two block aligned under your shoulders. Blocks should be on the highest level to try to keep your torso parallel with the ground.
Step 5
Elongate and lengthen your body from your fingertips all the way through the lifted heel. Bring your gaze to the floor a few feet in front of your body. To release, exhale as you gently lower lower you lifted leg to meet the standing leg and bring the arms back alongside the body. Repeat on the left side.

Benefits and Contraindications


Strengthens the ankles and legs

Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back

Tones the abdomen

Improves balance and posture


High blood pressure

Back problems



Photo poses in different angles

Modifications and Props

Modifying Warrior III with props can help you build strength and balance gradually, while also preventing injury. Here are some prop modifications for Virabhadrasana III:

    • Blocks: Place a yoga block or two under your hands on the floor to raise the ground up closer to you. This will make it easier to hinge forward at the hips while keeping your back straight and your lifted leg engaged. It can also help you maintain balance and stability.
    • Wall: Stand with your back against a wall and place your hands on the wall for support. Begin to hinge forward at the hips, lifting one leg off the ground behind you. Use the wall to help you balance and keep your lifted leg straight and engaged.
    • Chair: Place a chair in front of you and place your hands on the seat of the chair for support. Begin to hinge forward at the hips, lifting one leg off the ground behind you. Use the chair to help you balance and keep your lifted leg straight and engaged.

Remember to listen to your body and only go as far as you feel comfortable. Over time, you can gradually reduce your reliance on props and work towards performing the full expression of Warrior 3 without assistance.

Useful Tips

  • Practise this pose with your hands against a wall or the back of a tall chair. This will allow you to get used to the actions in the body while helping with balance.
  • Instead of bringing your arms alongside your ears try brining the arms out to the sides, or bringing the palms together in front of your chest.
  • Keeping the standing knee bent a little will also help with balance.
  • Think about shooting energy out through the back foot to keep it light and lifted. Lift the inner arch of the foot and the inner ankle.
  • Engaging the lower belly will help with stability.

Frequently Asked Questions

What muscles does Warrior III work?

Warrior III works the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, core, and back muscles.

How long should I hold Warrior III?

You can hold Warrior III for 5-10 breaths on each side. As you become more comfortable with the pose, you can gradually increase the duration.

Can Warrior III help with back pain?

Yes, Warrior III can help improve posture and strengthen the back muscles, which can help alleviate back pain.

Is Warrior III safe during pregnancy?

It is best to consult with a doctor or a prenatal yoga teacher before practicing Warrior III or any other yoga pose during pregnancy.

Can beginners do Warrior III?

Yes, beginners can do Warrior III, but it is important to start with modifications and gradually work up to the full pose as your strength and balance improve.

What should I do if I feel pain or discomfort in Warrior III?

If you feel pain or discomfort in Warrior III, come out of the pose and rest. You can also try modifying the pose or seek guidance from a yoga teacher. It is important to listen to your body and avoid pushing beyond your limits.


  • Warrior Pose III With A Chair
  • Warrior Pose III With A Strap
  • Warrior Pose III Near Wall
  • Warrior Pose III With Blocks
  • Flying Warrior III
  • Revolved Warrior III
  • Half Warrior Pose III

Iana Varshavska
Iana Varshavska
Website administrator

A digital marketer in love with yoga and everything that goes along with it. In 2021, her huge passion for yoga led her to yoga teacher trainings. After successfully completing her studies, Iana received her Yoga Alliance U.S. certification, left the corporate IT world and devoted herself to the development of Yanva. To be able to create the best online yoga space for yoga enthusiasts like her, Iana is constantly learning and improving her skills in various aspects of yoga philosophy, anatomy and biomechanics. Since 2021, she has continued to attend various types of teacher training, including yoga therapy, gives online and offline classes, and conducts local workshops for people who want to learn more about yoga. At the moment, Iana continues to work on her personal practice, improving her hand balancing skills, as well as developing her own training programs.