Friday, April 5, 2013

Vira III or "Warrior III"

In balancing poses, let yourself wiggle a bit, fall, maybe even smile. Let the judgment go!

Sanskrit: Virabhadrasana III                                    Western Term: Warrior III

Origin of Word
Virabhadra = fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva with a thousand heads, thousand eyes, and a thousand feet.

Type of Asana: balancing pose

How To:
1.     Start in a high lunge position with the right leg forward and left leg long behind you. Inhale as you move the weight on to the right leg, feeling the pada bhanda of the right heel to ball of the foot pressing into the ground. Slowly lift the left foot off of the ground, keeping the hips squared.
2.     Exhale as you reach the arms in front of you with the finger tips coming together making a prayer mandala with the hands. Keep the shoulder blades dropping down the back.
3.     Lower the chest down, keeping your chest open in slight extension as you raise the back left leg higher. Feel the pada bhanda of the back left foot, energy shooting out of the ball of the foot as you lift the leg higher. Stay for 5 to 7 breaths, do not be embarrassed if you shift side to side or fall out of the asana for a moment. Breath and try to focus on one point with your gaze or dristi in order to stabilize yourself and calm your mind.
4.     To get out of the asana, exhale as you lower and begin to re-bend the right knee and lower the left foot down to the ground into high lunge. Make sure you do both sides!

Body Points:
*keep both hips even and squared; Do NOT lift the raised leg’s hip higher
*keep extension through the back and energy through the top of your head without straining in the neck
*keep pada bhanda of heel to ball of the foot on the grounded foot and energy through the heel of the raised foot

 Emphasized Body Parts: thighs, hamstrings, calves, ankles, hips, shoulders, and spine. Strengthens the ankles, legs, shoulders, and muscles of the back. Warrior III improves balance and posture, as well as toning the abdomen.

Mental Achievements: Helps give us strength, like the courage to put ourselves out their to speak

An aid for beginners: kramas or levels of a pose give us yogis with various levels options. For any given pose, there are various levels of difficulty. This krama that I offer is for beginners to the pose:

-If you’re finding it very difficult to balance with your arms in front of you in a prayer mandala, move your arms by your sides with energy through the fingertips with your arms like airplane arms

For Advanced Yogis: Advanced yogis can enter Vira III from Vira I (see earlier blogs for further description of Vira I).

Chakra: 3rd chakra, Manipura, meaning “lustrous jewel” is the seat of personal power inside the body. It is the chakra of the life force giving strength to cultivate the creativity found in the 2nd chakra. It is symbolized by a 10 petaled yellow chakra and found in the navel.

-When this chakra is balanced, we feel at peace, energetic, fearless and free and are able to take full responsibility of our life. The balance of manipura gives us not only a strong sense of self-worth but also positive self-value. This chakra also rules the organs of digestion including the abdomen, upper intestines, liver, adrenals, gallbladder, kidneys, and pancreas.

-If the manipura chakra gets out of balance, some people experience problems with digestion, liver dysfunction, anorexia, bulimia, colon/intestinal problems, and/or somach ulcers. All the more reason to do Vira III and help balance your manipura chakra.

-“Seed sound” or bija mantra is “ram.” Repeat this mantra in your 3rd chakra poses to connect to your strength and confidence.

Ancient Sanskirt Proverb: “Person with enthusiasm is a powerful one. There is no power equal to will power. For a person with enthusiasm and will power there is nothing that is difficult.”

Element: Fire

*Do not perform Vira III if you have high blood pressure.


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