Today’s post is a variation (oh my God, another variation, I am seriously becoming a rebel) of Virabhadrasana 3, also known as Warrior 3. Virabhadra was a warrior and, in particular, an incarnation of Shiva. This pose wants to commemorate the exploits of this warrior.
There are many warrior poses in yoga, but as an Ashtanga yoga primary series practitioner, this one is technically not yet part of my practice. However, I have come to love it during some Vinyasa Flow classes, where more variety is allowed.
I LOVE all the Virabhadrasanas, because they make me feel powerful. The beauty of yoga is indeed to make you feel things through your body. They say you should work from the inside out, but what I believe to be the case in yoga asana practice is that you can also work from the outside in. You make a shape, in the outside world. However, that shape becomes a metaphor of something going on within you.
Since I am a nerdy 🤓 kid, I couldn’t help but remember about a scientific study that I had analyzed in my Bachelor’s thesis. This research, conducted by Harvard social psychologists Amy Cuddy and her colleagues, proved that by performing poses associated with power, we feel and act more powerfully. In fact, by sampling the saliva of the study participants, they observed a hormonal change: after a short period of time, power poses made people produce more testosterone and less cortisol (stress hormone).
I would love to be able to perform such experiments on people holding yoga poses, and the Warrior poses in particular! How interesting would that be?
In any case, there is something special about Warrior 3. In fact, it doesn’t only make you feel powerful, but also grounded. Since it’s also a balancing pose, it requires concentration and the ability to cultivate and believe in the strength of your ankle, leg and abs, to sustain your upper body. It also makes me feel humble: I bow 🙇♀️ and look down, even as a warrior.
Be strong guys! But don’t forget to cultivate kindness and humility. It will make you even stronger!
#beakindstranger Namaste 🙏🏻