Tutor: Wendy Teasdill
Date: 24th October 2020 - 31st October 2020
Time: 10:00 - 13:00
This workshop is based in practice, interwoven with theory and backed up with textual references, hand-outs and the opportunity for each person to express their individual interpretation. Through warrior-related practices (Asana, Pranayama, Dharana and Dhyana) we can develop insights which lead us not down a path of aggression but to a place of conflict resolution. As the saying has it: we are seeking to change what we can, accept what we can’t - and to cultivate the wisdom to know the difference.
We find no reference to Warrior poses in the old yoga texts, but plenty of evidence of war. The Bhagavad Gita demonstrates the human need to fight for territorial rights and many a debate has hinged upon the apparent paradox of Ahimsa (non-violence) and the Dharma of battle. The noble hero is recognised in certain resting postures mentioned in the Gheranda Samita, and these in turn are echoed in uncannily similar postures found in images of Egyptian deities.
Despite the alluring legend of Shiva’s Virabhadra, the Warrior poses now accepted as part of the Yoga lexicon probably owe more to the ancient fighting tradition of India and the martial arts of China and Japan than to the yogis of old. This is not to separate, but to define the warrior poses: they are very much an integral part of Yoga as it is practiced today, and, as part of a living, breathing and ever-evolving practice, the warrior poses reward exploration with an increased sensation of inner peace and understanding.
As demonstrated by Arjuna and his brothers, one cannot hide in the forest forever. Life on earth demands that we emerge from our caves and fight for whatever it is that we believe in. We do not exist alone, but in community, and we each have our part to play. This workshop is an on-going investigation not only of the 3 main Warrior poses, but also of their history, significance and relevance – and of the related postures, such as Virasana, which recognise and uphold the heroic ideal.
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