I've been doing yoga here and there with videos at home, but yesterday I took a class for the first time in a while. We did a Warrior series (see photo for what Warrior II looks like) and I was struck by the wisdom of this pose. The Warrior poses are designed to open your heart center. The idea of going into a battlefield in this pose seems a little silly, but I think the pose is meant to suggest a more spiritual type of warrior, one who refuses to let life's pain force her to close herself off from the world. Even after being hurt or disappointed, she goes forward with an open, brave heart, knowing her own power. She knows that to protect herself by closing herself off would be to deny that power and to miss out on too much.
This meshes nicely with a podcast I listened to today from American Public Media's "Speaking of Faith" series. Program host Krista Tippett spoke with author John Kabat-Zinn about "Opening to Our Lives." I had heard a little of it this weekend and tracked down the podcast so that I could hear the rest. He talked about how we can cause ourselves needless suffering by trying to get our lives "perfect" and then hold them there. "You can do this for a a short time, at great cost to yourself and others." Instead of trying to hold tight to a certain set of circumstances that "we percieve as desireable and the way that things should be," that we be mindful and open to each moment, "so that instead of running toward our deaths, we open to our lives." I really recommend listening to the whole show, it's truly beautiful and practical.
I think that there is a synchronicity in the way that things are brought to our notice when we need them. I have been feeling irritable because certain things in my life are not settled the way I'd like them to be. Kabat-Zinn reminds me that nothing ever stays settled for long, anyway, and the Warrior reminds me that I need to move forward in openness and faith.