Peaceful Warrior

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The underlying philosophy of yoga is one of peace and harmony which makes having poses called warriors seem like a contradiction. But the beauty of Eastern philosophy lies in its challenges to customary logic and its uncanny knack for helping you to arrive at the truth of a situation by experiencing it rather than intellectualizing about it. We are going to talk about a deep psychological truth embedded in the warrior asanas.

What I realized while going through a difficult series of poses recently was that warrior one and warrior two are actually some of the most physically taxing asanas in all of yoga if you do them correctly. They involve pretty much every muscle in your body. To an outside observer the poses look rather passive and pretty easy but anyone who practices yoga knows how active both of them are and how challenging it is to maintain them over a long period of time.

This is the beauty in calling them warriors. Just like the poses, peace seems like a passive state but is also very active. Peace takes time, understanding, empathy, and hard work. Arriving at peace in yourself, your personal relationships, and society doesn’t happen by chance and demands every ounce of your being. War and conflict are easy and lazy solutions to problems.

Next time you go through the sequence of warrior one and warrior two think about being a peaceful warrior in your life. Try to do the very best you can on both poses and let yourself experience the difficulty and the joy in maintaining them. Use this time to meditate upon arriving at peace in all of your relationships, realizing that it is an active and difficult process but also one that is attainable.