It wasn’t until I started researching that I realized how strange it is.
8 years into my Vinyasa yoga practice, it’s safe to say I know my way around the common asanas. I’ve spent my fair share of time flowing in and out of these shapes, without ever really thinking about the irony. Here I am practicing yoga, a peaceful practice, grounded in the principle of “ahimsa” (non-violence). In nearly every sequence, a set of shapes emerges that sounds anything shy of peaceful : the warrior poses. Sounds kind of violent, no?
To rectify this in my mind, I remembered the origin of yoga itself. One of the most respected yogic texts, the Bhagavad Gita is a conversation between Krishna and Arjuna, two fierce warriors mid-battle. Practicing warrior poses doesn’t condone violence, but instead honors the internal struggle we all face against our own ego and ignorance. We practice fierce poses like the warrior asanas to cultivate the strength needed to do right by ourselves and those around us.