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Working on Warrior 3? Here are some tips for balancing!

asana virabhadrasana 3 warrior 3 warrior three Jun 27, 2023

If you’ve been practicing with me in the Vinyasa Studio it’s likely you’ve flowed through some pretty challenging balancing sequences, some of which included Warrior 3. Warrior 3 is an advanced balancing asana (posture) that appears in the Advanced A Sequence in Ashtanga Yoga (and you find it in other yoga traditions as well.) It activates all of the muscles of the body when practiced correctly - legs, hips, low back, core, upper back, even arms! 

When I create content for social media, it’s always based off of student interest, and sometimes specific questions (PS - do you have a question? DM me on Instagram!) I’ve watched lots of students wobble in Warrior 3 (Don’t worry if that’s where you’re at - I used to be there too!) and so here are some practical ideas for bringing stability into this pose: 

1. Practice using props for balance! 

You can put your hands on the back of a chair, or your foot on the wall. This gives your brain extra information about where your body is in relation to the rest of the world. This can support you so that you can really focus on activating stabilizer muscles in the ankles, legs, core, and back, and not worry about falling over! 

I explain it more in this reel. 

2. Practice upright balances like tree pose to focus on standing leg engagement. 

You’ll know that your leg is not engaged properly if your hip cocks out to the side. If you engage all of the muscles around the hips, press down through the standing leg, and really squeeze the quadriceps muscle, you’ll start to use your muscles to lift your body up out of the hip. This activated tree pose is HARD 🔥 But worth it. 

Once your activated tree is strong and stable, we engage the leg in the same way in the warrior 3 position. The difference is that on the standing leg side you will have that same sense of lifting out of the hip that you had in activated tree, but you will need to simultaneously internally rotate the back leg thigh bone and slightly drop that back leg hip so that the two hips are level with each other. Imagine that you are trying to balance a cup of coffee (or these days maybe that mushroom water 😂) on your sacrum. 

Have a question or request? You can DM me on Instagram!


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