Becoming A Spiritual Warrior
A warrior is one who engages in a conflict (or war) with great conviction, courage, and inner strength because they are driven by their belief in a cause. Different from soldiers who are trained to follow orders, warriors are defined by their fierceness, dedication, and undeterred will with which they fight their adversaries. One might end up a soldier, but being a warrior is a choice.
Along the road in life, we face trauma, disappointment, betrayal and insurmountable challenges. Sometimes it is through situations that are forced upon us and sometimes, we end up betraying ourselves. A spiritual warrior is someone who pursues a life of meaning with the conviction, dedication and discipline of a warrior, but with the intention of connecting to their inner soul, the core of their essence, their higher self.
Yoga teaches us to be spiritual warriors. Not all yoga is practiced with this aim. Sometimes, the road gets muddied along the way. Self-serving competition (Am I doing the pose better than the person next to me?) or vanity, (How do I look in my new yoga pants?) are examples of this. However, the true purpose of yoga is about pursuing a purposeful journey towards a life of enlightenment.
The physical postures of yoga are designed to massage the chakras. These are areas within the physical body where we store emotions that leave us spiritually blocked. Fear is often felt in the stomach, feelings of love are felt in the heart, strength and loyalty are energized in the groin and legs (think of the warrior pose). The desire to move beyond "our stuff" is there, but we are at a loss as to how to do it. No one ever said that being a warrior was easy. It is an ongoing discipline that stems from the desire to dig deeper into ourselves and find purpose in life.
Whatever your path may be, I wish you the courage and conviction to honor your inner self. May all of us find the spiritual warrior within that leads us to take the higher road.