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WARRIOR 3 OR VIRABHADRASANA III POSE

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WARRIOR 3 OR VIRABHADRASANA III POSE

Olivia Marley

We're checking in with warrior 3 or virabhadrasana III pose in class at the moment. It's one of those postures that looks deceptively simple, but because it involves standing on one leg it's often hard for students to stay in position long enough to think about their alignment. There's a couple of things going on in the top picture here that I generally cue my students to correct. The first is that I'm not using my back muscles enough to keep my torso lifted, so my chest has kind of drifted towards the floor and I've lost the natural inward curve in my lower back. The second, which would probs be easier to spot if you could see my top foot (it's been chopped off by a combo of having a small space to practise in/ small camera width/ long leg 😂) is that in an effort to lift my top leg higher I've let that side of my pelvis lift. You can see it if you look closely! If you could see my toes they'd be pointing towards the camera rather than down to the floor. My right hip is turning out and is higher than my left, so there's a slight twist in my back, and for me it also makes it harder to balance. 
In the second photo I'm not thinking about how high I can lift my leg, and instead have dropped my right (top leg) outer hip way down. My toes are now pointing straight down to the floor. To help correct the position of my upper body I have fired up the muscles along my back to lift my chest higher. My preference is to keep my chest slightly higher than my hips in this posture. There are so many chances to stretch the back of your body in the style of yoga I teach that it's good to take the opportunity to strengthen that area when it comes up! Reaching your arms back will make it much easier to lift your chest. Once you feel like you're comfortable in that position, you can make your back muscles work harder by keeping your chest lifted while either having your hands in prayer position, reaching them out to the side or even stretching your arms out in front of you 💪🏼