Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Story of the Yoga Warrior Poses

The Yoga Warrior Poses are beautiful but vigorous poses that require strength, stamina, and awareness to hold with integrity for any length of time.   The arms and legs need to be able to fully extend, the hips, shoulders, and spine require flexibility, and the back and spinal muscles need to be strong to keep the trunk lengthening and to keep the low back and belly from sagging forward.

Much practice is needed to be able to do these poses well!

The Sanskrit name for the Yoga Warrior Poses, Virabhadrasana, comes from the great hero warrior, Virabhadra, from Hindu mythology.   Virabhadra was created by one of the Hindu gods, Shiva, to avenge the death of Shiva's beloved wife, Sati. 

Yoga students sometimes ask why we practice Warrior poses, since isn't the practice of yoga supposed to help us become more peaceful.

We can look at the practice of these poses as a metaphor for battling our own ignorance and ego.   We can think of our own "spiritual warrior" nature as developing the courage and awareness to deal with our life's challenging moments.

To learn more about the Warrior Poses, and about the story of Virabhadra, read The Story of the Yoga Warrior Poses (the newest of my Squidoo yoga lenses).

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