ESSENTIAL YOGA POSTITIONS PART VIII
„He who conquers himself is the mightiest warrior“ – Confucius
Today in our weekly yoga ASANA series we are taking a look at VIRABHADRASANA III. This powerful posture is the third of the three well-known WARRIOR poses in Yoga and it has a very interesting historical background. All of the three warrior poses are strong and active asanas that challenge the mind as much as they challenge the body, especially when being held for longer periods. They are a symbol for the transformational energy that Yoga can have in our life and a great way to mindfully build up physical strength and endurance. This will help YOU to face the challenges life with CONFIDENCE!
Warrior Three Pose
Starting from mountain pose: on an inhale extend your arms above you towards the ceiling, palms touching each other. On an exhale begin to extend your right leg straight back behind you as you shift your weight into your left foot. Find a strong line of energy by keeping your foot and leg actively engaged. Check that the right hip stays at the same height as the left by keeping your hip bones parallel. It helps to firmly engage the left quadricep to keep the standing leg strong without locking it out. Try to straighten both legs out as much as possible without straining. In a next step, start bringing the torso parallel to the mat by activating your abdominals, back muscles and bhandas. Keep the gaze dow and avoid tensing the neck. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 breaths. To come out, slowly bring the right foot back to meet the left and raise your upper body back to a vertical position. Repeat on the other side.
The deeper meaning of the three WARRIOR poses and their symbolic character is rooted in an ancient saga of the Hindu mythology. According to the legend, the priest DAKSHA was holding an important ceremony, but his daughter SATI and her husband SHIVA, the most powerful of the gods in the Hindu religion. Nevertheless, Sati decided to go to the ceremony and ended up in an argument with her father, making her so desperate that she threw herself into a fire. Shiva was devastated when he heard about his wife’s death. In his agony he ripped out a lock of his hair and where it touched the floor, a powerful WARRIOR arose. Shiva named him VIRABHADRA. In Sanskrit, Vira means hero and Bhadra means friend. Shiva then ordered him to take revenge on Sati’s father and the guests of the ceremony. The third of the WARRIOR poses embodies the warrior as he is moving swiftly and precisely the sword with his hand.
Warrior is an excellent muscle strengthening AND lengthening pose, especially for the legs, quadriceps, abdominals and back muscles. This asana also improves you sense of balance, coordination, and can assist with posture issues. On a psychological level in helps to focus the mind and built confidence as you hold this powerful posture.
Dear Yogis – never forget that YOU are strong, powerful and capable of so much more than you might think – a TURE WARRIOR! Within each and everyone of us there is an infinite source of resilience and power that gets more and more accessible to our consciousness as we practice mindfulness, meditation and physical yoga asanas.
We wish you a ENERGIZING and EMPOWERING WARRIOR practice – be fierce and let your SUPERPOWER radiate – on and off the mat!