Moving Review
January 15, 2008
Don’t Look at Me That Way
January 31, 2008

Warrior with a Twist

I used to work with a woman who had three trays on her desk: an inbox, an out box, and one labeled “Too Hard.” The third is where she’d toss customer complaints, twenty-page budget reports – anything that interrupted her work flow. She’d set aside time to tackle what had accumulated there, usually by bracing herself and taking a deep breath first.

Turning in bed definitely gets filed in my Too Hard box of daily living. Add to it those times when my medication doesn’t kick in and I’m trying to undo the twist tie on a loaf of bread. Give me strength.

Virabhadrasana I and II – the warrior poses – have done just that. I hadn’t been including them in my daily yoga  practice until one morning, I found myself moving into warrior I. Not only did I feel the energy in my thighs and upper back as I extended my arms, I felt centered. In both warriors, whether I’m standing or seated, I’m mindful of not bending toward the front leg or leaning onto the back. I’ve read that keeping the body’s midline straight is symbolic of staying present, not reaching for the future or grasping for the past. I’m finding such strength in that, in being utterly present in these powerful poses.

As I gazed out over my fingertips in warrior II and up at my hands in warrior I, my body – my whole spirit – felt ready to take on whatever came my way. What I did next, though, is what surprised me. I rotated my wrists. So simple. But it changed things. Palms up is where the real power came in. I was no longer braced against the Too Hards, I was open to accepting them.

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