Virabhadrasana CWarrior 3Veer-bha-drah-shah-nah
Virabhadra (वीरभद्र) = Distinguished hero, also considered to be the fierce aspect of Shiva
Asana (आसन) = Pose, Posture, Seat
Boat pose in its simplest description brings the practitioner into a one legged balance with the rest of the body resembling a superhero flying. The shape is simple, but the strength, flexibility and balance required to hold the pose make this an fun and generally accessible intermediate posture.
In B.K.S. Iyengar’s “Light on Yoga” he shows a preparation and only one version where he enters the pose from warrior one. He calls Warrior 3 an intensified version of warrior 1. The variation shown in “light on Yoga”, has the arms fully reaching forward. This version is the most advanced version of the pose as the full reach of the arms creates an incredible amount of leverage which significantly increases the work of the muscles of the back and back of the shoulders. Students with shoulders or low back injuries, or those who have not yet developed the back strength necessary for the full version will benefit greatly from modifications to the shape and reach of the arms so as to lessen the tension in the back.
Energetically this pose works deeply into the core, hips and pelvic floor stimulating the root chakra (muladhara) sacral chakra (swadisthana) and navel chakra (manipura). When we feel grounded from the waistline on down we can find more freedom and float from the waistline on up.
Left: Blocks under hands for support Right: Hands at the heart in prayer, less leverage
How to do Virabhadrasana
Adho Mukha Svanasana- Downward Facing Dog
Virabhadrasana 1- Warrior 1
Utkatasana- Chair Pose
Counter PosesSoft forward folds
Any easy twist to release the spine and abdominals.
ReferencesIyengar, B.K.S. (1966) Light on Yoga, Yoga Dipiki. (3rd Edition) NY, United States of America. Schocken Books Inc.
About Chris Loebsack
Boundless Yoga Staff & Students
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