Humble Warrior Pose – Beckoning “Simultaneity” in Our Lives
The Warrior pose cadre certainly is composed of a mystifying and somewhat aggressive sounding crew. If you’ve never heard the story of Shiva “the higher Self” breaking through the earth (Warrior 1) and taking aim at Daksha “the ego” (Warrior 2) to rein terror and destroy Daksha (Warrior 3), in retaliation to the pain caused to Sita “the heart”, it’s definitely an epic tale to explore further.
Warrior 1, 2 and 3 are asanas of strength, resolve, control, and triumph. It is no wonder the physical postures fuel a sense of determination and a stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. This system initiates the fight, flight, freeze (or even collapse) response, whereby the heart rate increases and our entire being becomes more alert. They also empower us, challenge us to find our footing, and summon a steadfast focus within our mighty defiance and inner caldron of exquisite power.
Their close relative, “Humble Warrior Pose”, a.k.a. “Devotional Warrior Pose” “Bound Warrior Pose” “Silver Surfer Pose” “Baddha Virabhadrasana” “Garuda Virabhadrasana”, is no less stimulating, but arouses a deeper complexity to the inner workings of the body, mind, and spirit. Think of it as the quirky, laid back esoteric cousin to the first three Warrior Poses. Although foundationally, the legs and midline are activated in the same manner and therefore the asana provokes similar attributes including strength and perseverance, anytime the head is below the heart, as is the case in Humble Warrior Pose, we also incite a more focused awareness of our inner landscape. In the physical sense, the parasympathetic nervous system is activated which controls rest and digestion. It is a slower system and restores the body to a state of calm. Hence why often times when we rise out of humble warrior pose, there may be lightness, simplicity, and clarity to the mind and heart.
Humble Warrior Pose invites simultaneity. Holding two things to be true at once, each without contradicting the other. It dances effortlessly with both activation and calming. In a world where polarization has become the norm, it seems we can learn a lot from this dual posture. How do we maintain the mental and emotional agility of both our power and grace? How do we hold space for both our chaos to live simultaneously with the balance within us? How do we cultivate simultaneity in our lives? How do we explore this into our relationships, our thoughts, our hearts, so that we can nurture greater tolerance for the ‘seeming’ contradictions of life? How do we hold more than one thing to be true? Is it even possible?
These are not easy questions, especially when we are sitting at the Thanksgiving table with family members who may hold different spiritual or political beliefs to our own, or when our soul requests that we turn our world upside-down and enter into a new transition of life without losing our sense of inner peace and knowing along the way.
Humble Warrior Pose is an embodiment of this concept. It teaches us to be BOTH power and grace… to be BOTH self-assured and humble… to be BOTH fired-up and diffused… to be BOTH effort and surrender… to be BOTH without contradiction.
It reminds us that simultaneity IS possible.