Virabhadrasana III is a pose which challenge us to find new balance and new perspective as to what strength is, the more we let go and stretch out , the more ease we experience in the pose. There may come a point when firmly grounded on the fulcrum of the standing leg, we feel ourselves take flight.
I’ve heard it said, “we are the stories we tell ourselves.” It is certain that our life unfolds in a series of actions. How does that relate to “Be Yoga Now”? Recently in two private sessions ( one yoga and one singing lesson) I heard stories of limitation, “I can’t , I never could, I always…” these kind of stories we tell ourselves become self- fulfilling or maybe better say, not fulfilling. Director Shekhar Kapur in a talk at TED suggested, “In this universe, and this existence, where we live with this duality of whether we exist or not and who are we, the stories we tell ourselves are the stories that define the potentialities of our existence… A story is the relationship that you develop between who you are, or who you potentially are, and the infinite world, and that’s our mythology.” In Yoga apparent limitations can be new margins of awareness if we can see things from a new perspective. I once heard that very thing, that we rise up in consciousness so that we see more of the picture so I think it is perfect that we now look at Virabhadrasana III – Warrior Balance Pose as it can also be a moment to reflect and see ourselves differently. I’ve heard it called Superman (Superwoman) and it certainly has a sense of flight.
Sometimes I like to use the variation of “airplane” arms with the image of looking into a lake and seeing your reflection. Not to get caught like Narcissus but to look deep into that reflection and in fact to see if the story you tell about yourself is still true or was a once upon a time.
Challenge yourself. Create a new story, a story of a hero, the warrior who accepts their limitation as a margin from which to see a new way of taking flight or whatever it is that your heart’s desire is. Remember, aspirations are the wings of the soul. As we saw before, the importance is not always achieving what you set out to do. I have to add that while there is strength in saying yes, there is also strength in saying no. John Friend has a wonderful video called “The Dance of Yes and No.” He may at some times seem a bit like a motivational speaker inviting us all to a big yoga party but his principles are founded in Tantric Philosophy. It is important to say “Yes” to life, to open to something bigger” and to say “No” to whatever it is that tells you that you are not good enough, smart enough, perfect enough. Enough! It’s not important that you achieve the perfect pose, you may or may not be perpendicular with your body parallel to the ground. So what! It’s your pose, find your own balance stretching out and reaching back. Some days, when you do it you may have a moment of perfect balance only to find that another day, it’s lost. That’s life. Our past does not necessarily have to be a prediction of our future even as it may provide a foundation. We can learn and change but it takes practice, will and willingness. If it’s a rough time you can tell yourself the story of how you know you have the resources and that this too shall change. Tell yourself a new story, one full of joy and fulfillment. Be the hero or the heroine in your own life. Celebrate in joy. Om Namaste.