Pose of the Week: Virabhadrasana 2

This week we are focusing on Virabhadrasana 2 – translated as Warrior Pose 2. As you may know there is also a first and a third version.

Either love it or hate it, it’s intense. It’s static and in that duration of holding the asana, lots of thoughts take hold. Don’t they? What crosses your mind when you’re in it?

Geeta Iyengar, BKS Iyengar’s daughter, in Virabhadrasana 2 

This pose can teach us about what is happening in our minds and how we can work to detach from those thoughts that carry distraction. 

So, who was Virabhadra? 

He was a warrior who was summoned by Shiva, the lord of death and destruction, to reek havoc on a gathering held by King Daksha, his father-in-law. Shiva and his wife, Sati, weren’t invited to this social event and Sati went along anyway, and got into an argument with her father over being socially shunned. Then threw herself into the ceremonial fires and perished. Being over-wrought with grief with this news, Shiva summoned Virabhadra, the warrior, by tearing out a dreadlock from his head and throwing it on the ground causing Virabhadra to break up through the earth. This is represented in Virabhadrasana 1. Then in Virabhadrasana 2 he has King Daksha in his line of sight and in the third version he wields his sword to take off Daksha’s head. 

The good news: Sati is born again as Uma and is eventually reunited with Shiva. Also wonderful news: in the place of Daksha’s head grows a goat’s head so he continues to live! 

What Virabhadrasana 2 is really directing us to is that there is discipline and determination involved in its execution. And just like a warrior there is a purpose and a resolve. 

See you on the mat :)

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