Virabhadrasana 3 (at wall)

Warrior pose

Virabhadra (pictured) = the name of a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva.

  • Repeat all stages as in Uttanasana at wall and stay for three to five deep breaths then…
  • Step your feet close to each other without turning the toes in or out.
  • Raise your right leg up to follow the line created by your back, ideally coming away from the wall at ninety degrees – but be patient and accept where you are.
  • Ensure the toes of the raised leg point down as if weighted on the little toe side.
  • Extend the arms through to the side ribs and raised leg.
  • Keep the standing leg supported from the back and raised at the front.
  • Maintain the ‘flow’ of the breath by bringing spacious awareness to it.
  • Press the shoulder blades towards the armpits and the armpits towards the shoulder blades, relating the action of one directly to the action of the other, and take the slack created through the back and side ribs.
  • Stay for six to 12 steady, unrushed breaths.
  • Bring the raised leg back down near the other and check alignment.
  • Lift the heels and stretch the back with heels up.
  • Then lower the heels down simultaneously supporting the back knees by deepening from the popliteal fossa (soft skin at back of knees) and back thighs, and drawing up at the front to keep the front knee joints open.
  • Now repeat on the other side.

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From my own limited experience I have found that the greatest degree of inner tranquillity comes from the development of love and compassion.
The more we care for the happiness of others, the greater our own sense of well-being becomes. Cultivating a close, warm-hearted feeling for others automatically puts the mind at ease. This helps remove whatever fears or insecurities we may have and gives us the strength to cope with any obstacles we encounter. It is the ultimate source of success in life.

— Dalai Lama