Find Determination and Courage in Warrior 2

What does boat pose have to do with a floating vessel? Cobra pose with a hooded serpent? Downward dog with a stretching canine? Well, each yoga pose looks, and feels, similar to its namesake.

Imagine the arching hooded cobra, readying to strike. In cobra pose, do you not feel alert, energized and perhaps even agitated like the venomous viper?

Warrior Pose

How about Warrior 2 pose (Virabhadrasana 2)? A warrior is a brave and experienced fighter or soldier, someone you might imagine being hardened by war and fearless in the face of danger. As you stand in a strong lunge, arms outstretched, heart open, gazing lucidly down your index finger, what does it feel and look like to channel your inner warrior?

The Legs of a Warrior

Much like a warrior, Virabhadrasana 2 invites you to feel strength and stability as you ground down through your thighs all the way down to the wide stance of your feet. In this yoga pose, you should feel balanced, rooted and unshakable: indeed, fearless!

Try lifting and spreading your toes after you have set up your Warrior 2 pose to soften and widen the base of your feet. As you hold this yoga pose, begin to press your legs down towards the ground, deeply engaging your quadriceps on each exhale.

The Heart of a Warrior

We may tend to think of a warrior’s heart as being cold and closed — a necessary desensitization from being in battle. However, a warrior in the yogic sense does not shut down to the world when confronting fear or challenges but, instead, lets their heart open even wider, inviting compassion and softness to be their greatest weapon.

Moving your awareness up into your torso as you hold this yoga pose, notice how the pose externally presents a balance between strength and softness; contrast the deep lunge stance with the feeling of an open chest and abdomen. Now feel that contrast by using your inhales to float out of your waist, feeling light and open in your heart-center.

Meeting our battles with a grounded softness is the path of the yogic warrior.

Presence in Battle

A distracted warrior is probably not very successful in battle. Being alert and present is key to meeting our enemies, facing their challenges and usurping their power.

Bringing your awareness into your shoulders and arms, notice if you are leaning forward or maybe backwards, in this yoga pose. Notice your thoughts: sometimes when you look forward into the future too much, or conversely, are held back by unresolved issues from the past, your body will mirror that emotional state.

Try to find your center point, setting your shoulders over your hips. Soften your shoulders down away from your ears, and take a long exhale out of your mouth, making any sounds you like. This is your battle call!

Show the world that you are grounded in the moment, armed with the sword of compassion, ready to face your challenges with an open-heart from a deeply rooted and balanced foundation.