I believe there is a peaceful warrior which resides within each one of us – One of strength, one of compassion to ourselves and others, a place where we can express our ‘Satvic’ nature or true nature. I have been reading through some of my course notes on Chakras and I found some relevent information which relates to this idea. Here are two key points of relevance…

A fearless yet tender-hearted person who is in balance with both masculine and feminine energies – with both strength and tenderness, wisdom and compassion.

Virabhadranana II - Warrior II

The warrior is one who knows the depths of their own heart and feels the pain of all beings – no feelings are rejected, denied or abused.

There is so much pressure to deny feelings, whether influenced by our families, social group or even culture. The ego, or sacral chakra will begin to compensate for vulnerability, beginning to create more power and protection. This is where we create resistance. Yet, when we surrender to our feelings without judgement, and they are acknowledged and expressed, one becomes stronger, not weaker. It is our challenge to open our hearts, accept our feelings and be fearless in our own compassion. Knowing, feeling and expressing our emotion is good for our health. Our bodies will begin to store any unexpressed emotion (in the liver, pancreas, GI tract etc.) creating discomfort and eventually dis-ease.

In the asana practice, there is a unity between forward bends and back bends, with intent to create a balance of the pranic and apanic flow of the energetic body and equalizing the physical body – the spine being the pillar of support and strength. I’ve since stumbled upon some information to bring a greater light to this idea (Thank you Psychology of Disease!!).

There is often guidance in the physical practice to lift the chest, opening the sternum and therefore opening the heart centre. This is our connection to our passion, forgiveness and love. As we lift our arms, reaching through the hands and fingers, this is the most outward expression of our heart energy, sending out love and compassion. In connection to that, the abdominal muscles are required to either release or contract as is necessary, creating a balance between vulnerability or protection and strength or power.  

The back of the body can be interpreted as the opposite to what was stated above. In forward bends, we are beginning to close off the chest and abdomen, exposing the back line of the body. This is where we find storage of negative emotions, such as fear, anger, pain of the past, guilt, shame, indecision and resentment. This is where we can go inside our emotional selves, feel and connect to these emotions. Here we can create awareness without judgement and we can begin to release these emotions as we exhale each breath.

As we begin to find balance and stability in our physical bodies, we also begin to balance the emotions between positive and negative emotions. Eventually we can move towards a place where we do not judge feeling or emotion as good or bad, remaing stable, grounded, intrinsically in touch with our innermost selves. As life always has its ups and downs, we can strive to connect to the median line, not getting swept away by the emotional turmoil or external chaos.

Connecting to and exploring these ideas keep my passion for yoga ignited. Sometimes when my practice becomes wholly focused on the physical, I can lose that spark. I know that yoga is continuing to challenge and heal my body physically, but being able to remember, and connect to my practice energetically and spiritually, brings me a greater sense of understanding my true nature and perhaps my inner warrior…

How can you connect to these ideas in your own life, or perhaps yoga or meditation practice? Is there any emotion that you are holding on to in your life that isn’t serving you? Can you allow yourself to become a bit more vulnerable and move towards compassion? How are you compassionate towards others? Most importantly, are you compassionate towards yourself?

Blessings on this beautiful sunny day! Peace, peace, peace…