Gruninger: Balance Pose Of The Month – Warrior 3

Jacci Gruninger practices warrior 3 pose. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos

This month’s balance pose is a perfect next step from last month’s pose (Holy Fig Tree). Hopefully this past month you practiced and have started to develop the tools – strength, balance, skill and flexibility to work with balancing poses. This month’s pose – Warrior 3 or Virabhadrasana 3 requires a bit more strength while balancing. It also requires focus and endurance.

My preferred version of this pose is what I call Warrior 3 for hikers using my hiking sticks for a little extra support. Of course, wearing hiking boots also helps! Or using the rocks from the ocean for a little support. It’s a good reminder that yoga can be done pretty much anywhere!

Warrior 3 is often considered an intermediate practice, but anyone can do it with a bit of support (hiking sticks, back of a chair, wall, countertop, yoga blocks).

Warrior 3 is a standing and balancing asana (posture) that requires focus and strength in addition to balance. This pose can help boost your energy when you are feeling a bit lethargic. It strengthens your middle back, core, glutes, hamstrings, chest (when the arms are out or over the head), psoas and the quadriceps. It stretches many of the same muscles.

A few things to consider when you play with this balancing pose:

  • Keep your chest open and as parallel to the floor as you can
  • Your arms can go over your head, out at your sides or down by your hips
  • Keep your head and chin in line with your shoulders
  • Square your hip bones toward the floor
  • Keep your spine long
  • Back foot stays flexed
  • Palms face one another if the hands are over the head
  • Pull the abdominal wall in to support your back
  • Your gaze is down and the breath is even and balanced

Moving into the posture:

  1. Start by coming into Virabhadrasana (Warrior 1) From Mountain pose step back with your right leg into a high lunge. Your heel should be pointed toward the ceiling, both hip bones pointing forward.
  2. Take your arms out into a T position.
  3. Shift your gaze to the floor about 3-4 feet in front of you.
  4. Inhale and as you exhale begin to hinge forward from your hips, straighten your left leg and lift your right leg up bringing the body as parallel to the floor as you can.
  5. Let your gaze now rest on the floor beneath you.
  6. Reach through your fingers, crown of the head, foot on the floor and foot in the air.
  7. Keep your abdominal wall drawn in and your breath flowing freely.
  8. Play with drawing your arms over your head, palms facing one another.
  9. To release, inhale and come back up to standing or back into Warrior 1.

Jacci Gruninger is a Certified Yoga Therapist, Thai Yoga Massage Therapist and Focusing Coach. She has been teaching for over two decades and spent 12 of those years training yoga teachers for the Pranakriya School of Yoga Healing Arts. She regularly helps clients manage the ups and downs of life with yoga, meditation, breathwork and bodywork. Her Yoga Therapy Center is located at 190 Central Park Square #212. For the in person and online teaching schedule and information on other services, visit

Jacci Gruninger practices warrior 3 pose. Courtesy photo

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