Virabhadrasana III: Warrior III Pose
Warrior III, or virabhadrasana (veer-ah-bah-DRAHS-ah-nah) III, is a challenging pose of balance and strength.
Philosophy + Origin
A fierce warrior, Virabhadra is often depicted as having a thousand heads, eyes, and feet. Draped in the skin of a tiger, this warrior wields a thousand clubs. In Virabhadra’s origin story, he is created from a single dreadlock from Shiva’s head, a manifestation of the rage he feels upon feeling like his true love has died. The shape of virabhadrasana III comes from this story, the moment when Virabhadra beheads the king Daksha and extends forward to place the head on a stake.
Despite the outward appearance and violent origin, this powerful pose is actually a great reminder of our own inner strength and the measures we would take in the name of true love.
- Shoulder modification: Rather than stretching your arms forward, reach your arms by your sides.
- Chair: Place your hands on a chair to assist with balance.
- Begin in a high lunge with your right foot forward and hands together at the center of your chest.
- Lean forward and shift your weight into your right foot until your left foot hovers off the ground.
- Straighten both legs as much as is comfortable. Extend the ball mound of your left foot back behind you and reach your chest forward.
- Press your standing foot firmly into the ground.
- Keep your hips level to the ground.
- When you feel relatively steady, reach your arms out in front of you to create one long line from your left foot to your fingertips. Face your palms toward each other and hug your forearms toward each other.
- Stay in the posture for 3-5 breaths, then gently release to standing. Repeat on the other side.
- Pyramid pose | Parsvottanasana
- Half splits pose | Ardha hanumanasana
- Full splits pose | Hanumanasana
- Virabhadra = the name of Shiva incarnated as a fierce warrior
- Asana = pose
- Strengthens ankles, legs, shoulders, and back.
- Tones the abdomen and core.
- Improves posture.
- Creates a sense of power.
Garudasana: Eagle Pose
Eagle pose, or garudasana (gah-rue-DAHS-anna), requires a combination of balance, strength, and flexibility. A great stretch for your shoulders, upper back, and legs, garudasana creates space in your body physically, but also opens up space mentally. To sustain the posture, you must give it your full attention and commitment, drawing your mind to one singular point of focus.
Philosophy + Origin
Although commonly known as eagle pose, the word “garuda” in Sanskrit really refers to a great mythical bird, one with a golden body, white face, and red wings. The king of all birds, Garuda is the vehicle of choice for Lord Vishnu, who serves as the preserver and protector of humans and creation. Garuda is the bird who managed to obtain the elixir of immortality, soma, in order to save his mother Vinata from enslavement.