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Authentically Aligned: Warrior III

Yoga | Yoga for Beginners

I remember when I first started practicing yoga, Warrior III seemed near impossible. When did my back leg get so heavy? How was it that my abdominals screamed at me every time I attempted it?

Well, after years of practice, Warrior III comes easily. In fact, I even love it.

Warrior III is a great pose to use for transitioning in and out of during creative flow sequences. It helps strengthen the back, abs, core, arms, and legs—just about everything. In addition, it promotes balance, is therapeutic for flat feet, and really helps hone concentration.

Now, I’m not going to post step by step instructions of how to get into this asana because let’s face it, if planning to try this, you’re probably going to look at the photo and dive right in. Here are my tips and tricks for the best Warrior III.

An Authentically Aligned Warrior III

  1. Imagine your hipbones are headlights of a car. Point them at the ground.
  2. Gaze to the ground directly under your nose.
  3. Press the chest toward the horizon in front of you as much as possible.
  4. Press the back foot away from you as much as possible.
  5. Feel like you’re using the force, then bring it in toward the midline of your body. What do I mean? Imagine a line bisecting your body, dividing you right in half lengthwise. Draw your strength and energy toward that line.
  6. Back heel toward sky, front knee toward ground.
  7. Engage both thighs.
  8. Be aware of your back glute—the back butt. Use it to help lift the leg.
  9. Shoulder blades down the back
  10. Don’t panic. It won’t last forever. Try to breathe through the wobbles and bobbles.
  11. High five yourself even if you manage to balance for half a second.

With enough practice, this pose will feel light. That in itself is a huge victory and a reason to feel like a warrior. Once you’ve nailed Warrior, try inventing different ways to get into and out of it. Maybe you can launch into it from a lunge, or come up to it from a standing split.

What are your favorite ways to transition into Warrior III?

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