Warrior III - Virabhadrasana III

Yoga Warrior III
Prasit photo / Getty Images

Also Know​n As: Airplane Pose

Type of Pose: Standing, Balancing

Benefits: Strengthens the legs, improves balance and core strength.


1. Begin in Warrior I with your right foot forward. Bring your hands to your hips.

2. Lean forward to bring your weight into your right foot. Keep your left knee bent as you float your left foot up away from the floor about a foot.

3. Straighten your right leg and continue to bring the torso toward a parallel position to the floor. Use your torso going forward to counter balance your left leg lifting and extending straight back. Eventually, both the torso and the left leg will come parallel to the floor at roughly the same time. 

4. Keep the neck relaxed, as if it's the natural extension of the spine. This means your gaze stays down towards the floor.

5. Keep both hips level and pointing toward the floor as you fully extend your left leg. The left hips tends to want to cock up so keep pointing it toward the floor. Your hands on your hips can help you feel this.

6. Flex the left foot and keep the toes pointing down at the floor. Actively engage the muscles of the left leg.

7. Bring your arms back along your sides when you are ready.

8. Bend your right leg to step back to Warrior I. Repeat the pose on the other side.​

Beginners' Tips:

1. Do the pose at the wall. You can either face the wall and bring your arms outstretched in front of you with your hands on the wall or turn around and bring the lifted back foot onto the wall. Either one will give you the stability you need to level your hips.

2. Hold onto a chair instead of using the wall.

Advanced Tips:

Try another arm variation.

1. Bring the arms outstretched in front of you. Keep the biceps next to your ears so that your arms are in line with your back leg. The hands can stay shoulders' distance apart or you can bring the palms to touch.

2. Bring the hands to reverse Namaste position behind your back.

3. Bring your arms out to either side like an airplane. 

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