V I R A B H A D R A S A N A I I
Updated: Apr 9, 2019
I have avoided adding this posture to my sequence for about a year now, because I couldn’t bare to hear myself say “exhale low lunge, inhale Warrior 2”, one more time. After my year long hiatus, I realized there may be a deeper connection for my aversion to the posture, so I revisited its' mythological significance. This pose represents our struggle with anger and resentment. When we feel these emotions, they can exacerbate beyond our control, and we can act as if we are warriors fighting on a battlefield. It’s after these battles where we can either choose to feel guilt and shame or rectify with love and compassion.
I explored this posture with a beginner’s curiosity and felt this duality heavily. Physically, there is so much power and strength that sprouts from the edges of my feet to the outsides of my glutes. Yet, I feel so open in my hips and such length in my inner thighs. I feel my feet pulling my mat a part, but squeezing it together. My back is strong and upright but my arms are relaxed and my gaze is calm.
After my physical exploration, my first emotion was to shame and guilt myself for forgetting the beauty of this posture. But I caught myself in this moment of judgement. I recently have been re-reading excerpts from Michael Stone’s “Inner Tradition of Yoga” and became aware that I was on step 7
of the wheel of suffering. Stone explains the wheel of suffering as such...
Avidya- Not seeing things as they are
Samskara- psycho-physical grooves in mind
Data moves through sense organs and mind
Aversion or Attachment
Stories of “I”
Abinivesa- Fear of letting go
The only way out of the wheel of suffering is awareness. It was in this moment that I realized I had an opportunity to separate my ego from my Self. I am not guilty or shameful. I find compassion for myself in realizing that I may be frustrated with postures at times. I may feel anger when I take class and have to do this pose repeatedly. I accept that. And instead of feeling ashamed or guilty, I listen and understand.
This lightbulb moment spoke to what my body has been needing physically and mentally: boundaries. I need the physical boundaries of this posture which are grounded feet and stretched arms. I need boundaries in my life by learning when to say no. Where can I say no to taking on too many different things? Where can I say no to my ego’s lower vibrational emotions of anger, frustration, guilt and shame? Does saying yes to too many things lead me to these lower vibrational emotions?
Awareness. Detachment. Surrender. I surrender to my authentic Self. I surrender to acceptance, compassion and unconditional love.