Myths and metaphors behind the Warrior poses


Class this week focused on myth and metaphor.  Many poses you've practiced in yoga are named after sages, animals and warriors.  .  Learning more about the history and symbolism behind the poses can infuse your practice with new inspiration.

There are many stories, myths and philosophy connected with yoga and yoga poses.  In this class we looked at Shiva in the form of the warrior.  Shiva is considered the Lord of the Yogis.  He is seen as the ideal mix of renunciant and householder.  Shiva became upset with the father of the person he was in love with.  Warrior 1, 2 and 3 represent Shiva when he went to defend his beloved.  

Warrior 1 is Shiva taking form out of the ground as he emerged with a sword above his head.  In Warrior 2 the arms represent when Shiva pulls his bow & arrow... the directionality and drishti you need when pulling a bow & arrow.  Warrior 3 is when Shiva really took target in defense of his loved one. 

The metaphor behind it is to have something you're devoted to ... whether its your practice, a person, a job, a pet or even a feeling inside of you when you practice of pure devotion, intention, commitment.  

Then anytime you have challenge:  the metaphor of these poses is that when you take them you gain strength; you're given energy. When you need strength and perhaps feel depleted, these 3 poses taken together in a sequence can help you gain that energy.  

The alignment with the Shiva poses:

* equanimity side to side; centerline work  

* Shiva was very focused and fearless, yet he did his actions with great love, with great yearning.  We repeated the warrior poses a few times throughout the practice.  I encouraged students to practice with a sense of becoming a "warrior in all adversity".  We took on the challenge, and stepped into the magic and mystery of it all.  

Om shanti, shanti, shanti,  Lynn