Where does our strength come from? Is it that inner determination to achieve? Our ego? That warrior within us? In yoga we develop strength and stamina from poses called warrior poses. These are standing poses, with the feet rooted to the ground, the gaze focused on a spot beyond your sight as if looking through it, and the muscles of your legs working from the feet up. Some of the muscles spiral in and others out. Warrior poses lengthen and stretch your muscles. They challenge your desire to keep moving and fidgeting. They build core strength because we need to draw this strength deep from within, like a warrior. A warrior on the field of battle or sitting high atop his horse with a sword in hand or quietly smiling with her inner determination to see things through, or birth a child. A warrior on a surf board, skiing down a hill, running a marathon, walking into a board room or conducting the train.
We are all warriors. We all have the ability to be strong and centered, to be willful and determined, focused and proud. In other words, we all have the capacity to be powerful beings. We can do what we love, we can achieve greatness and we are all warriors.
Yoga helps us build not just the muscles, but the inner focus, the quiet. When we can get the quiet, we can hear the inner call of what our warrior really wants and needs to thrive. In our ever more changing environment, in the hustle and bustle of movement in our cars and in our minds, we need the stillness to center us, ground us and keep us calm. Through calm, we can make good decisions.
Some people say that yoga teaches us not to have ego, or that the ego should not come into our practice, it's not a competition. What yoga can teach us is how to get to know our egos and what exactly they are capable of, when it's appropriate for the the ego to manifest and when it's making bad decisions for us. Yoga: the art and science of getting to know you, and what you are capable of.
Owner, Yoga Madre