Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Virabhadra: call him "warrior."

...because “warrior” sounds nicer than “demon,” doesn’t it?

The warrior asanas, "Virabhadrasana" were named in honor of Virabhadra, the big ugly, googly eyed demon/warrior who wore severed human heads to Dahksa’s sacrifice party. He was conjured by a pissed off Shiva for one purpose alone:

To kick ass.

So to me, Warrior is an excellent representation of grounded earth energy at it’s fullest extreme: fierceness, stubbornness, getting things done, kicking ass and taking names all without breaking a sweat.

You don't get the "fierceness?" Just stay in warrior 2 for 5 minutes.

Still don't get it? Commit to a another 25.

In our western tradition, it could be represented by Taurus, the bull. It is grounded energy, sensual and earthy, body-centered in rest, possibly stubborn, but you know what happens when you piss off a bull?

The warrior poses are an excellent way to get in touch with that same physical-mechanical energy in a very direct physical way and learn a little about our human mechanical instincts and kinesthetic intelligence. And in turn, a deeper connection with that grounding energy can bring greater awareness into your warrior poses and the rest of your practice.

For more on the Siva-lore on Virabhadra:

1. A nice excerpt from the Srimad-Bhagavatam, 4:5:3-17 can be found here.
2. A nice overview including more excerpts can be found here

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