YOGA POSE + FOCUS: 08.08 – 08.14

“Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.” -Sigmund Freud

Focus: Arjuna

Avoiding incorrect knowledge means asking questions. Sometimes asking questions can make us feel small or insecure, because a question insinuates that we don’t have all of the answers. We can’t know everything, and we shouldn’t be expected to, as we shouldn’t just assume the answers to our inquiries. To have direct and honest communication requires courage; to let down our walls, to let others in, this vulnerability requires courage.

Arjuna is the great hero of the epic Bhagavad Gita. The Bhagavad Gita centers around a great battle, in which Arjuna, at the behest of Krishna, is leading an army to fight against many who are his friends and family. Arjuna serves as a reminder of what courage can look like in many forms. As a warrior, Arjuna was fearless and courageous, but when the time comes for him to fight his family and loved ones in battle, he loses his ability to follow his dharma (purpose). He allows himself to be vulnerable and turns to Krishna for help, for conversation, for understanding — an act of courage despite its appearances. When the time comes, can we find the courage to admit that our assumptions may be wrong, to admit we may not have all of the answers? Can we find the courage to have open conversation, despite conflict and discomfort?

Align/Flow Classes: Virabhadrasana III // Warrior 3

In honor of Arjuna, we have chosen a fierce pose that leads with the heart and dives you forward into action — Warrior III. This pose takes courage, leaving you vulnerable on one leg and forcing you to look head on at what is right in front of you. Just as we must follow our heart rather than our head when communicating with empathy and compassion, allow the lift of the heart to guide the expansion of this pose. While practicing Warrior 3, imagine your body like a see-saw, the more your back leg lifts, your torso drops, keeping everything in one strong plane. If keeping your arms overhead makes this difficult, try bringing hands to heart center, or even at your hips, allowing you to feel the leveling of the pelvis. You can also practice this with your hands on a chair in front of you to help with balance and allow you to focus on the strength. Once you feel sturdy, steady your gaze, release your hands from the chair and let yourself fly!

Stretch/Restore Classes: Seated Meditation in Virasana // Hero’s Pose

Again to honor Arjuna, we choose modified Hero’s Pose. As this pose is being suggested for use in meditation, consider the most comfortable setup you can for holding the posture in stillness.

Here’s a suggestion for one of our favorite setups (utilize all, one, or none of these ideas):

  • Cushion the floor with a folded blanket and come to a kneeling position
  • Starting from kneeling, place a block or cushion between the ankles/feet and have a seat on top
  • Utilize a strap or belt to wrap around the thighs and shins, and buckle yourself in
  • Allow the hands to rest gently in your lap

Meditation can be a great time to gather our composure when considering courage and vulnerability. Don’t feel like your meditation has to be anything spectacular — meditation might be ten minutes of focused concentration or one minute of focusing on your breath.