Transforming Fear to Joy

Easing into Virabhadrasana I (Warrior I Pose)

The Warrior poses in yoga tradition represent the qualities necessary for all spiritual journeyers. Every spiritual tradition understands that life’s journey requires each of us to become our own hero. In other words, we save ourselves and others when we embody and express empowerment, courage, clarity, and non-attachment.

Personal empowerment grows confidence and capacity in managing one’s life and claiming one’s rights. Such emancipation liberates one from internal and external sources of suffering and bondage. When we witness ourselves standing our ground, we are both rooting our feet to the earth and extending our torsos to the sky. Standing our ground requires us to physically, energetically, mentally-emotionally and spiritually stand solidly on our own two feet while we stand tall in our thoughts, words and deeds.

The presence of the inner warrior is more than just physical strength, s/he bravely extends herself for whatever is required in each presenting moment. Her/his courage is tempered with the clear seeing that emerges from a place of centred wisdom. When we think, speak or act from our true nature, we are connected to Spirit and thus, accessing the spiritual wisdom of the ages. Right thoughts, right words and right deeds naturally flow from us into the world.

Ultimately, clear seeing teaches us that relinquishing any expectations or attachments to outcomes is liberating. Instead of disappointment, we feel the peaceful enjoyment of accepting what is. The outer and inner steadiness of our true nature replaces the impermanent fluctuations of happy and sad, excitement and disappointment, etc.

Use the following yoga actions and sequence to unveil and uplift your inner warrior. Begin quietly in a seated posture while you focus on your breath. Use these few minutes to centre your awareness on your breath and to practise the yoga actions below. Take these yoga actions into each pose in the sequence.

1. Draw the back face of the sacrum down to the sit bones and into the heels.
2. Lift the inner ankles to the inner knees to the inner trochanters.

VINYASA: to warm up from the inside out 3 Breaths each
– a slow flow series moving from one pose into the next
– hold each pose for 3 breaths (inhale + exhale)

TADASANA (Standing Mountain) to UTKATASANA (Chair)
– INHALE as you lift your arms
– EXHALE as you release your sit bones toward the mat
– stay for 3 Breaths, on your last EXHALE, twist into TWISTING CHAIR

– stay for 3 Bs, on your last EXHALE, both hands to Left thigh and step R foot into high lunge
– stay for 3 Bs, on next INHALE, raise arms to ceiling

– stay for 3 Bs, on last EXHALE, release R knee to lo lunge & arms stretch back
– stay for 3 Bs, on last EXHALE, press back into Down Dog

to ADHO MUKHA SVANASANA to CAMATKARASANA (Wild Thing) (repeat other side)
– stay for 3 Bs, on last EXHALE, swing R bent leg over L leg to floor, INHALE R arm overhead

CHAIR VIRABHADRASANA I 3 – 10 Bs each side
– L thigh rests on chair seat; L knee over L ankle
– L inner thigh is parallel to front edge of chair seat
– R outer heel grounds into wall, R thigh bone moves into back of leg
– INHALE arms overhead

SURYA NAMASKAR B: engage Ujjayi Breathing 3 Rounds
– a slow flow from one pose into the next
– hold each pose for 3 breaths

– sit bones into wall OR bolster on thighs

May your inner hero shepherd peace, love and joy into your life. Namaste.

Picture of Author: Helen Maupin

Author: Helen Maupin

Helen is passionate about transforming fear into love — from her, for her, for all. She expresses her commitment to transformation through writing poetry, self-awareness and yoga books, co-designing organizations into adaptive enterprises and deepening her daily meditation and yoga practices.


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