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Yoga Poems


©2021 Joyce Borenstein

research references Wikipedia

The Warrior Poses are great for strengthening and stretching the back and the legs. As well, these postures increase focus and concentration and confidence. When one assumes the Warrior poses, one is proclaiming: “I am strong, I am proud, I am determined, I am courageous.”

Note that for Warrior 1 the hands are clasped above the head in the Kali Mudra position, the hand gesture for fearlessness as becomes the warrior. And for Exalted Warrior, the elevated hand assumes the Gyan Mudra position, the hand position for focus. Warrior 3, where the practitioner is poised on one leg, is a feat of balance. This pose is streamlined and suggests a missile or rocket-ship, unstoppable and determined.

And the meaning of Virabhadra? Wikipedia informs us that in Hindu mythology Virabhadra was the most powerful Warrior God, created by the ruler of the universe, God Shiva. The legend is told that Daksha disapproved that Sati, his daughter, married God Shiva. When Daksha refused to invite Shiva to an important ceremony thereby insulting him, Sati set herself on fire and committed suicide. Shiva reacted with intense anguish, and created Virabhadra from a lock of his hair. A variant version recounts that Virabhadra was created from Shiva’s perspiration mixing with the earth. Virabhadra was a giant whose body reached to the heavens. He had an animal tail, three burning eyes, fiery hair, and was as lethal as tsunamis! Thus Virabhadra came into existence as Shiva’s invincible bodyguard and thus the naming of the Warrior Poses.

illustrations of the five Warrior Poses
Yoga Poems


poems ©2021 Malcolm McLean

illustrations ©2021 Joyce Borenstein

As the in-breath lifts the heart upwards

Aspirations, hopes and wishes

Stream upwards with it,

Filtered through the noblest part of being,

To a heaven that calls in many voices.

As the outbreath releases the hips, grounding,

The earth is not forgotten.

Gravity speaks with one voice,

And balance is negotiated,

Breath by breath,

Moment by moment.

To stay in this place

To burn there until something changes,


But then a friend may

Call it time

For a new posture.


Return to that place of grounding,

Rooting into the present moment

Burning in the hips,

‘Til something changes.


It’s good for you.