Warrior II: Facing Our Fears
For too long fear has been a front seat passenger in my life, telling me where not to go, who to avoid, and what not to do. I listened, because this voice was familiar and nostalgic from a young age, but fear is not meant to be clung to, rather released. Fear can either teach us about survival, or it can teach us about oppression. [TWEET THIS] I struggled to let go of my past fear, and therefore, lived out it out in my present. Warrior II is the yoga posture that helps me face my fears on a regular basis.
Vīrabahdrāsana II translates into fierce warrior. It promotes empowerment, strength, and concentration. Warrior II brings up a necessary process in facing our fears: resistance, trembling, and awareness. It is without question that in every yoga practice I do, I try to avoid the Warrior asanas. Stephen Pressfield writes, “the more important a call or action is to our soul’s evolution, the more resistance we will feel towards pursuing it.” When we face resistance, we face our fear and conquer. This conquering doesn’t mean that we won’t tremble, dear God will we tremble. [TWEET THIS] When we go to the battlefield of our mind and face our enemy, our knees will wobble, our core will shake, and our hands with tire. When I come to Warrior II, I shake towards strength by choosing not to run from insecurity, doubt, and awareness. This awareness is crucial in the process of facing our fears. When I’m in Warrior II, lengthening my stance, rising through my core, and slowing my breath- I’m aware of all the feelings that brought me here. My awareness grounds and secures me no matter what fear may arise.
God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.-2 Timothy 1:7
Step into your Warrior II:
Come into standing with your feet hip width distance apart. Engage your legs by activating your muscles all the way up through your core. Feel your belly lock like a shield, strong and protected. Bring your hands together in prayer at your heart, palms placed flat against each other. Really press into those hands, and draw your shoulder blades down your back, away from your ears. Let your gaze be soft, but direct. Focus on an even breath here, in through your nose, and out through your nose. Find your rhythm. You are strong and secure.
Next, step your right foot forward 4-5 feet in a wide stance. With your right foot facing front, blade your back foot slightly outward. Feel the ground supporting beneath you.Begin to bend your front knee, so that the knee is stacked over your ankle. Press through the back foot and front foot, feeling the traction in your legs. If not already, shine your hips towards the side of the room. This a deep hip opener. Your front hip is rotating outward towards your pinky toe, and your left hip is rotating the opposite direction towards your left foot. Deepen your lunge here, feeling the strong base you’ve set for yourself. Come back to awareness of your breath, slow it down, and feel each inhale lift, and exhale deepen your posture.
Begin to really engage your core, drawing your tail down slightly, through your bellybutton to your spine. Stack your shoulders over your hips and feel that stretch as your alignment creates more space. When you’re ready lift your hands up to shoulder height, reaching through both fingers to either side of the room. Drop your shoulders away from your ears and root down. Set your gaze over your front hand, becoming aware of the resistance, the trembling, the fear of failure. Take a couple of deep breaths.
Release your hands and slowly step back into a standing posture with hands in prayer out your heart. Take a deep breath in, and open mouth exhale. Continue this breath. Feel your process, the buzzing energy moving from the opened up spaces. You are a strengthened, you are empowered, and you’re aware. Namaste, fierce warrior.