The Third Warrior

So, in my personal practice I love to flow, I love the feeling of the fluidity of a vinyasa practice—it takes me back to the days of figure skating, for sure my first love, but also to a simpler time. A time when everything was so easy—but in reality I was too young to know it back then. In skating there are some movements that mirror lots of yoga, but specifically Warrior III—well kinda. A spiral, a camel, a flying camel, and also some transitional foot work. I have told my classes’ lots of times when they are in half moon posture or warrior III or airplane, that it is truly easier to do those movements spinning while wearing ice skates, than barefoot on a yoga mat. At least it seems that way to me.

Warrior III is a technically challenging yoga posture but one that can still the mind with laser focus allow you to be in your moment—in the here and now. I don’t think I ever cue or personally practice warrior III without thinking back to a day of teaching where this posture will forever live in my mind.

It was a Saturday and I was chatting with students as they filed into the studio for early morning practice. I love the students that I get to share space with, they teach the teacher every time, and it’s a blessing. One of my students who has this amazing spirit came in, I had not seen her for a while—and it was just great to see her practicing—what I love about this student is her raw-truth. I love it when people just keep it real. I greeted her, and gave her a hug, and she mumbled something about “this is going to hurt, I have not been here for a while, “ I smiled because in reality if you are not in a consistent practice yoga— yoga can be really hard—but in full confidence I knew she would be just fine.

I started class, it was a hot one, and the students were laser focused—the music was playing but the quiet was there. The next posture was Warrior III— as stated above we all know this posture can be challenging. In the next moment from the back of the room I hear someone’s voice say—are you kidding me?!—there is a 3rd warrior?!—as I looked I saw this special soul staring at me half laughing and half way into the posture a bit wobbly but digging deep into her posture with the heart and soul of a warrior. I walked to her to assist, and as I approached she said… its been so long since I have been here—I forgot there was a 3rd warrior! I loved the raw truth in that comment, and in fact I was glad she spoke up— I was glad the moment was real, and truthful, and vulnerable just like the posture. The magic of yoga happens when your practice on your mat follows you out into the universe, and supports your life off of your yoga mat. Stand in your truth whether you are in warrior I, warrior II, or warrior III. Either way you are leaving your mat as a warrior ready to face the world and stand in your truth because in yoga you are gaining the spirit of a warrior. Here are some side notes on benefits of Warrior III.

It builds a support system of stabilization for hips and knees.

It helps align your spine and sharpens your focus.

It challenges your balance.

It allows you to ignite your fire and live intentionally.

Lastly, try your best to remember, you are strong and complete just as you are, and your place in this world matters—never forget it—you are a warrior!