Every pose tells a story

Learning the Sanskrit name, and possibly the story behind an asana, can sometimes give us a stonger connection with a pose.  A good example is Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II) which is a pose that commonly appears in classes of all levels.   The story goes something like this.  Sati was the first consort of Lord Shiva and his second wife, Parvati, is the incarnation of Sati.  Sati grew up as a devoted follower of Lord Shiva and won his heart and eventually married him.  Her father disapproved of Shiva and as a result of their marriage cut Sati off from her family.  One day her father hosted a magnificent party and all the Gods were invited except for Shiva and Sati.  Sati desperately wanted to attend the party and see her family.  Shiva tried to dissuade her but she was determined to attend.  At the party a fight started with her father over all of the things that he disliked about Shiva.  Sati became so consumed with rage at her father that she used her Yogic powers to immolate herself and burned herself to death.  When Lord Shiva found out what had happened to his wife he became so angry and distressed that he began ripping out his dreadlocks.  Two of the dreadlocks that were thrown on the ground were transformed into the fierce warriors, Virabhadra and Bhadrakali.  As revenge for the death of his wife, Shiva released these creatures on the world to bring righteousness and justice.   So, the next time you’re standing in Virabhadrasana II, try to imagine that you are a warrior avenging the death of Sati and hopefully this will become one of your stongest poses.

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