By: Virginia Iversen
Warrior III Pose is one of the classical Yoga standing postures. It is usually taught to students once they have mastered Warrior I and Warrior II poses. Warrior III is also known informally as Flying Warrior Pose because the practitioner balances on one leg, leans forward and extends his or her arms to the side or stretched out in front of the body with the hands in namaskar. This posture is difficult to practice for some students. Because of the challenging nature of the posture, it will bring a satisfying sense of accomplishment to a student who finally does master the pose.
If you are planning on teaching your Yoga students Warrior III Pose, it is optimal to introduce the pose to the class after practicing a series of Sun Salutations, Warrior I and Warrior II poses. In this way, your students will have a firm foundation to build on when they are practicing Warrior III. In Yogic philosophy, the krama or sequencing of postures is an important therapeutic consideration when planning a Yoga class. A fluid krama of asanas that builds in intensity, and then brings the student back to a state of relaxed stillness will help your students to receive the full benefit of their practice.
Warrior III is a great Yoga pose for strengthening the legs, back and shoulders. It also helps to improve a student’s sense of balance, coordination and mental focus. Additionally, the practice of this posture can be quite grounding because it forces a Yoga practitioner to be fully present. It is said that the quality of one’s eyes reflects the quality of one’s mind. The correct drishti or gazing point for practicing Warrior III is approximately three feet on the floor in front of the foot the student is balancing on. By holding a steady gaze or drishti, the student’s mind will steady, which will help the body to quiet and balance more easily on one leg.
If one or more of your Yoga students becomes impatient, frustrated or self-critical because they are unable to hold the posture for more than a few seconds, remind them to breath slowly and evenly and to hold a steady gaze. One of the primary tenets of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is the practice of non-violence. To practice Warrior III and berate oneself for not being able to balance on one leg is a form on self-violence. If Warrior III is challenging for your Yoga students, remind them that the pose if affording them the opportunity to witness their own mental reactions and to view the practice of this challenging posture as an opportunity to remove self-negating thoughts at the root.
© Copyright 2012 – Virginia Iversen / Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
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