Asana Spotlight Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II)

Do you struggle to find the sweet spot in Warrior II?  Does your thighs burn as you beg your teacher to call the next pose? Learn how the myth of this strong standing posture can help you realize your full potential in the pose.

Considered one of the iconic standing postures, Warrior II draws strength and inspiration to bring bliss and simplicity into your life.  For most of us, Warrior II is a challenge.  How many times in the actual moment of holding the pose have you wanted to drop out?  There are many gifts to take from Warrior II and the myth offers valuable lessons in how to approach the posture, physically and spiritually.

Virabhadra was a warrior created by the god Shiva, sent to punish and hurt his father-in-law, Daksha. Daksha didn’t think Shiva (a dreadlocked dude covered in ash) was good enough for his daughter, Sati (family get togethers were tense to say the least!)  So Shiva sought revenge and impulsively cut off one of his dreadlocks transforming it into Warrior Virabhadra - fierce, strong and ready for action! 

Virabhadra rose from the earth arms over his head, face upturned (think Warrior I), then, with arms open wide and a steady gaze (think Warrior II) drew his sword and cut off Daksha’s head!  Sati admonished Shiva for overreacting and he was forced to back track his actions, giving Daksha the head of a goat. Once order was restored, Daksha realised he had lacked compassion for his daughter and her needs and Shiva realised he acted impulsively in the heat of the moment.  What can we learn from the myth of Warrior II?  That life isn’t always peace, love and unicorns.  That reacting impulsively can lead to regret and revengeful actions. That standing strong and steady can achieve integrity and compassion in us and others.  A perfect prescription comes from The Radiance Sutra’s tantric teachings;

“That space is bad,

This space is good,

The ride is rough, 

Or the going is smooth,

We are thrown into suffering, 

We are thrown into joy.

Beloved Soul Mate – 

Find the space in the centre, The shimmering spaciousness

Encompassing all opposites

Here the essences of creation are at play:

Earth, water, fire, air and space

And the senses that perceive them. The centre is the dancing ground.” ~ Lorin Roche, Ph. D