This is a great pose to practice with a partner for support, especially if you are a beginner. If you don’t have a partner available, try Warrior III against a wall. Either face the wall so your fingers can just reach it or face away from the wall with your lifted foot resting lightly against it.
To practice this pose with a licensed yoga teacher, check out the yoga class schedules for each branch of CNY Healing Arts (Rochester, Syracuse, Albany).
Getting Into Warrior III Pose:
Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Step your right foot 12 inches forward and put all of your weight on your right leg. Inhale and raise your arms above your head – palms facing toward each other, arms parallel to each other and perpendicular to the floor.
Now, exhale and lift your left leg up and out. Hinge at the hips, lowering your upper half towards the floor. Gaze down at the floor and focus on a point. This will help you balance. Reach through the crown of your head and your left toes, in opposite directions of course. Reach through your fingers as well. Contract your abs for stability and keep them engaged throughout.
At this point, your body should make a straight line, parallel to the floor – save your right leg, which should be perpendicular to the floor. A tip: As you bring your upper half towards the floor, don’t swing yourself into position. This causes imbalance and make the yogi tend to shift all body weight to the ball of his or her standing foot. You want to support your weight evenly throughout all parts of the foot.
Breathe and hold for 2-6 deep, steady breaths. To release, slowly move your torso back to an upright position, lowering your left leg to the floor. Step both feet back into Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Repeat Virabhadrasana III for the same number of breaths with all weight on your left leg.
Benefits of Warrior III Pose:
• Strengthens the legs, ankles, shoulders and back
• Tones the entire body, especially your abdomen
• Improves memory and concentration
• Encourages better posture and better
• Invigorates and energizes