• T
  • H
  • M
  • Balancing on One Foot in Warrior 3

    warrior 3 vinyasa, knee straight, arms forwards, weight on front of foot, heel lifted.

    In Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana 3) you balance on one foot while reaching your other leg behind you. You can reach your arms back or forwards.

    You can also do it with your supporting knee bent (easier) or straight (a stretch for the hamstrings.)

    I like to do warrior 3 with the spine bent backwards as much as possible. (Mainly Lumbar spine and thoracic spine.) This helps to strengthen the spinal erectors. At the same time, if you tilt you pelvis forwards then you can lift your lifted leg higher.

    Try to keep your back knee pointing downwards and your pelvis level from left to right. To make these actions easier, focus on feeling your leg, pelvis and spine.

    Balancing on one foot is easier if you first activate your standing foot and if you shift your weight forwards enough so that you toes press down. You can then use your toes to help you to balance.

    If you find that your standing leg is wobbly you may find it helpful to press the inner thigh of your standing leg forwards while keeping your knee pointing straight ahead.

    Bend Your Spine Backwards

    warrior 3 vinyasa, knee bent, arms back, weight centered on standing foot.

    When first trying this posture I'd suggest keeping your standing knee bent. Lift your other leg and prior to reaching it back bend your spine backwards. Your pelvis will tilt forwards at the same time. Keep your spine bent backwards and tilt your pelvis forward enough so that your upper body is horizontal.

    Keep your lifted knee bent and your arms reaching back for now. Pay attention to your supporting foot. As you reach your leg back keep your weight near the front of your supporting foot so that you toes continue to press down.

    Create Length

    To create length or space in this pose reach your ribs forwards, away from your pelvis. Reach your head away from your ribcage. You can also focus on opening the spaces between your ribs.

    With your spine long reach your arms back. Straighten your elbows and your fingers. Move your shoulder blades towards each other. (Use your rhomboids to do this.)

    To make your leg feel long, Reach your lifted knee back, away from it's hip joint. Reach back through your toes as well.

    Point Your Knee Down

    Alignment instructions help you to improve your body awareness and control by giving you precise guidelines to work toward. Know what you are trying to do so you can recognize both when you are there and when you can't get there.

    In the case of warrior 3 those guidelines include making your pelvis level (from left to right) and keeping your back knee pointing down.

    You may find it easier to point your back knee down if you allow your outer thigh to relax down while pulling up on the inside of your knee.

    Reaching Forwards

    warrior (virabhadrasana) 3, knee bent, arms backwarrior (virabhadrasana) 3, knee striaght, arms forwardswarrior (virabhadrasana) 3, knee straight, arms backwarrior 3 (virabhadrasana 3) knee straight, arms forward

    Once you are stable with your arms reaching back you can try and reach your arms forwards. Lengthen you neck prior to doing so (pull the back of your head away from your ribcage. As you reach your arms forwards, pay attention to your supporting foot and keep your weight over the same part of your foot.

    Straightening Your Standing Leg

    If you look at the pictures you'll see that my pelvis is tilted forwards almost 90 degrees to my standing leg.

    Warrior 3 is like a forward bend for the standing leg. So as you straighten your standing leg you'll probably notice a stretch at the back of your thigh. Because of this, if you do straighten your standing leg, do it slowly, gradually, or leave it bent.

    Bending Your Standing Leg

    If you want to strengthen your standing leg in warrior 3 you can try bending your knee more. See how low you can go. Stay aware of your knee as you do this and stop if you notice pain in your knee.

    To help preven injury shape or activate your standing foot so that your heel bones are stacked, inner arches lifted and base of little and big toes both press down. Also, if you reach your arm forwards you'll probably notice that this causes your standing knee to move back, so you may find bending the knee is easier if you keep your arms forwards while doing so.

    Shift Your Weight

    Once you are comfortable in warrior 3 you can practice shifting your weight. Try moving your weight over the front of your foot so that your forefoot and toes press down. You can then lift your heel.

    Then try shifting your weight over your heel. In this position you'll be hard pressed to use your toes and so you'll have to concentrate on keeping your center over your heel.

    Generally, the stiffer you keep your body in warrior 3 (and in any other balancing posture) the easier it will be to balance.

    Note that as well as being a balance pose, this could also be thought of as a back strengthening yoga pose as well as a forward bend.

    Return to Home Page

    Return to Balancing On One Foot from Warrior 3 (Virabhadrasana 3)


    Basic Balance

    Inverted Yoga Poses

    Yoga Arm Balances

  • Crow Pose
  • Galavasana
  • More Arm Balances

    Understand Balance

    What's New?

    Stability in Yoga Poses

    Make your yoga poses less wobbly with less effort. Grounding and centering are two techniques for creating stability in yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Stability in Yoga Poses"

    Arm Supported Yoga Poses

    Arm supported yoga poses can be used to strengthen the arms and shoulders. Includes plank, chaturanga dandasana, downward dog, dolphin pose, side plank, wheel, reverse plank, table top pose.

    Continue reading "Arm Supported Yoga Poses"

    Joint Pain Yoga

    Rather than fighting through joint pain here is an overview of the approach that I've used to help alleviate hip pain, knee pain or shoulder joint pain while doing yoga poses.

    Continue reading "Joint Pain Yoga"

    Feeling Your Center of Gravity

    Make balancing easier. Use pressure sensitivity to feel your center of gravity.

    Continue reading "Feeling Your Center of Gravity"

    How to do Squats

    A yoga approach to how to do squats including how to stay balanced, and avoiding knee or hip pain even while going all the way down.

    Continue reading "How to do Squats"

    Camel Yoga Pose

    Camel Yoga Pose or ustrasana is a kneeling pose that can be used to stretch the hip flexors. One key action that may help in getting your pelvis forwards more is pushing your hands forwards, either against your feet or against the floor.

    Continue reading "Camel Yoga Pose"

    Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability

    The transverse abdominis can have an affect on sacroiliac joint stability as well as stability of the lumbar spine and the T12/L1 junction.

    Continue reading "Transverse Abdominis and Sacroiliac Joint Stability"

    Fluid Tensegrity Joint Anatomy

    Fluid tensegrity joint anatomy looks at the tendency of the body to maintain space within the joints. The question is, how is this space maintained?

    Continue reading "Fluid Tensegrity Joint Anatomy"

    Why Improve Body Awareness

    Why improve body awareness? So that you can use your body more effectively and fix problems yourself when they arise.

    Continue reading "Why Improve Body Awareness"


    How is tensegrity maintained at the joints even as the body adopts non-tensegrity postures or movements?

    Continue reading "Tensegrity"

    Being Present

    Why being present is the oppositve of thinking and how to utilize both modes effecively.

    Continue reading "Being Present"

    Pigeon Yoga Pose

    Pigeon yoga pose variations include lifting the front hip and resting it on the floor. Learn how to activate the front hip in either variation for better hip control and more effective stretching.

    Continue reading "Pigeon Yoga Pose"

    Creating Tensegrity In Yoga Poses

    Creating tensegrity in yoga poses. What is tensegrity, why should we aim to achieve it when doing yoga or any other activity where mindfullness is required?

    Continue reading "Creating Tensegrity In Yoga Poses"

    Obturator Externus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers

    Obturator externus anatomy for yoga teachers. If you have hip pain in forward bends and your hip feels weak, obturator externus may be the culprit.

    Continue reading "Obturator Externus Anatomy for Yoga Teachers"

    Yoga Stretches for Tight Hamstrings

    Yoga stretches for tight hamstrings. Learn to feel when your legs are active and when they are relaxed so that you can gradually stretch tight hamstrings.

    Continue reading "Yoga Stretches for Tight Hamstrings"

    Adding Bigness to Your Yoga Poses

    An experienced yogi's yoga pose has a sense of bigness. How do you as a beginner add bigness to your yoga poses?

    Continue reading "Adding Bigness to Your Yoga Poses"

    Basic Yoga Sequence Part 1

    Basic yoga sequence for flexibility. Includes hip, hamstring, quad stretches and neck stretches and recovery exercises.

    Continue reading "Basic Yoga Sequence Part 1"

    Back Strengthening Yoga Poses

    Back strengthening yoga poses can be used to strengthen the back of the body including hamstrings, glutes and both the lower and upper back.

    Continue reading "Back Strengthening Yoga Poses"

    Handstand Intro 6

    A look at getting your feet off of the wall and balancing in handstand plus tips for greater arm stability.

    Continue reading "Handstand Intro 6"

    Yoga Pose Sequences for Flexibility and Strength

    Yoga pose sequences for flexibility and strength. These sequences can be used for improving hip and shoulder flexibility and strength.

    Continue reading "Yoga Pose Sequences for Flexibility and Strength"