Warriors (Virabhadrasana) and Avocado
“Fierce” does not emerge from fear. Ferus, which is the Latin origin of the word “fierce” means “untamed” or “wild”. Fear, on the other hand, comes from Old English word for “calamity”.
There are many ways to draw connections for these two words. Is it savagery that brings out fear? Or is savagery the product of fear? Or both?
The sauvage as the source and the product of fear: what a hopeless case. How does one come out of this trap?
Virabhadra (namesake of the “Warrior” poses/asana in Yoga)- a monstrous wrath-of-a-god with three (3) eyes (!) was created by Shiva in anger and retaliation for his father-in-law who
disapproved of Shiva's union with his daughter, Sati and;
so rudely crashed Shiva's wedding party.
In embarrassment for the intrusion of his uncooperative father, the bride, Sati spontaneously combusted in flames on her wedding day. Whew. ***Channels Hillary’s side shoulder shimmy
So the “Warrior” sequence in yoga tells a story of rage and ill-temper. But it also solicits a deeper reflection on frustration and becoming a hero (Veera is Sanskrit for hero).
The postures of the “Warrior” sequence beautifully references to the heroic and metaphoric actions of Virabhadra:
I. Arms raised to draw energy and prepare for “action”
II. Arms align and torso open up to the side to prepare for “target”
III. Arms shoot forward to launch body as sword
This sequence to me, suggests ways we could address frustration/s:
I. Step back a bit, think first, and prepare for sensible (and kind) action?
II. Find ease in what you decide to do, and sometimes focusing on what is not obvious and visible might help… e.g. opening up to suggestions?
III. Execute with grace and faith, selfless dedication…
The winter is coming and my body and mind feel it. The trauma of suffering dark and cold days that seem endless is being brought out, Pandora’s-box style. I am afraid and I am frustrated. A very horrible trap to be in.
I seek water, warmth, sun and light…
Fortunately, all these images and reassuring sensation come together in the avocado (Persea americana).
Avocado apparently comes from the word “aguacate” which means testicle (I googled this, OK?) and not necessarily from avogado (lawyer). This is not to suggest that “testicle” and “lawyer” are completely unrelated concepts anyway.
The fruit is fleshy and fat, a good source of energy for the long winter season apart from B, C, K vitamins among others. But I find the most amusement and comfort from the fruit’s monounsaturated fat contents that according to published article in the Journal of the American Heart Association:
“Inclusion of one avocado per day as part of a moderate‐fat, cholesterol‐lowering diet has additional LDL‐C, LDL‐P, and non‐HDL‐C lowering effects, especially for small, dense LDL. Our results demonstrate that avocados have beneficial effects on cardio‐metabolic risk factors that extend beyond their heart‐healthy fatty acid profile.”
The perfect aid perhaps for high blood pressure and heart palpitations caused by seething anger and deeply rooted frustration. What an inspiration to get through this winter.
*** There are two other “warriors” that I relish in yoga practice. The reverse warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana) and the humble warrior (Baddha Virabhadrasana).