Warrior 3 Pose (Virabhasana 3)

This pose challenges your balance, the stretch of your hamstrings and the strength of just about everything else. To add more of a challenge, you can move your arms from forward to side to back, or you can move from this pose to some other balance on the same leg. It’s beneficial to loosen up your hamstrings before attempting this pose. As a variation to help to keep the spine in alignment, you can bring your hands to reverse prayer between your shoulder blades.



  • Strengthens ankles, legs, glutes, back and shoulders
  • Tones core
  • Stretches back of legs
  • Improves balance and focus


  • High blood pressure: Choose easy version for arms and don’t hold too long.


Let’s try it:

  • Stand in Mountain Pose and extend your arms.
  • Bring the weight to the tripod of the left foot, step your right foot back a short way and rest the toes lightly on the floor.
  • Circle your arms up to beside your head and activate the standing leg.
  • Keeping your weight evenly on the tripod, see-saw your torso forward while raising your back leg.
  • Keep your pelvis level.
  • Slowly bring your arms, torso and leg into a straight line.
  • Hold for 5 – 10 breaths and release slowly with control back into Mountain Pose.
  • Repeat on the other side.


  • If your standing leg hamstring is tight, only raise your leg as far as you can without skewing your pelvis. Keep your arms and torso in a straight line with the raised leg.
  • If your balance is challenged, practice near a wall for support. You can face the wall or table top with your arms reaching to it. Or you can stand next to a wall and slightly lean into it, or you can face away from a wall and place your foot onto it.
  • If your shoulders are tight or if you feel better balanced, take your arms out from the shoulders or leave them beside you. You can also keep hands at prayer at chest.


By Vrndavan Dasi
Founder and Principal of Veda Yoga Teacher Training