The Warrior within YOU!
When I first started practising yoga there were a few poses that felt completely right for my body. It was almost like my body accepted, surrendered and enjoyed these poses. My body felt super strong and overtime my breath felt steady and calm.
Inevitably there were a lot more poses that did not feel right for me. With practice and dedication some of these poses have become less troublesome and a few have become part of my everyday practice. It has not been because I have uncomfortably crammed myself into these poses and just accepted the discomfort of them, but because I have spent time learning to listen to how my body feels and adapting them to suit me!
There were other poses that felt great for my mind and gave me a sense of clarity and spaciousness. The ability to think fully, rationally and without judgement.
But there was one yoga pose that made both my mind and body feel like it had arrived in a place of complete steadiness and balance this was Virabhadrasana II - Warrior 2.
Initially it was the physical side of Warrior 2 that felt good, but after practising for some time I realised that the way it made my mind feel was on a much deeper level.
When you think of a warrior, what do you think of?
For me, I think of strength and power, fearlessness, methodical thinker, forward planner and a consistent learner.
I think of a battlefield, but not a conventional one. Not one with swords or loud noise, but a place that is quiet, with only me. I am stood in position, my feet are completely grounded, my right knee bent, my body upright and steady, the crown of my head is drawing up and my arms are wide and lengthening away from each other and I am gazing over my right hand. My head is still, my breath steady, my mind becomes clear and I am ready for whatever battle lies ahead.
Every warrior had their own ritual before a battle took place, this was so they could function fully to be the very best version of themselves.
How do we become our own warriors?
And what tools do we need in order to be a 2020 warrior?
1. Find your strength and power
"A warrior has great strength and power, but not just physically, mentally too"
Finding strength and power is usually considered first in a physical sense. To feel this in a physical sense is incredibly empowering, our bodies need fuel to work effectively and to allow us to carry out or day to day activities. Feeling strong within our physical body happens over time, through consistency and dedication.
But what about our minds?
Strength and power within our minds is equally, if not more (for me) important. Our thoughts, feelings and emotions can govern our mood, the way we think about ourselves and others, actions we take and how we deal with different situations. It is important to know that the strength we hold within in our minds is learnt overtime There are things we can do to help our minds gain mental strength.
Focus on one thing at a time
Set time aside to your move body
Nourish your body well
Take time to practice self-care
Rest when you need to
2. Be fearless
"Warriors were fearless souls, or at least that's the impression they gave to the opposition"
No dream is ever too big and no dream is too far out of reach.
In order to reach dreams we need to be fearless, even when inside we are wavering, feeling overwhelmed and about to collapse into a heap on the floor.
Sometimes to reach the top of the mountain we need to show we are brave and completely fearless on our journey there. It may be hard work on the way, your confidence will likely get knocked and this can make us feel like we want to give up.
Remember that the view at the top of the mountain will make the journey to where we need to be completely worth it.
When you get there, and you will, make sure you enjoy the view. Be humble.
"Warriors were critical thinkers. Thinking with clarity improved their decision making on the battlefield and ultimately secured the future of the platoon"
Every thought and feeling you have is completely valid. Spending time with our thoughts can sometimes make us feel uneasy but it's important to understand where a particular thought has come from, especially a more negative one. Understanding how to manage uneasy thoughts is key to a more positive way of thinking.
We can often find ourselves being consumed by what other people think, how they will react and what conclusion may be drawn from decisions we make. Be mindful that not everyone will think, feel or deal with situations the same as how you will. We don't all have the same mindset. That's okay. Accept and respect this.
Thinking positively can help us in so many ways.
Allows better decision making
Brings out creativity
Helps in effective planning
Creates a pathway to express ourselves better
Makes us feel happier
4. Plan, plan and plan some more
"Planning and looking ahead was key for warriors on a battlefield. They had every possible eventuality covered"
By planning ahead we can see our end goal and work out how we are going to negotiate getting there. This can be tricky and can sometimes feel overwhelming, but is worth it.
Planning for all eventualities can give us clear sight to possible problems we may need to tackle. We can be somewhat prepared and feel a little more confident about what may come our way. Planning can enhance our self-control and contribute to improved performance, but the fact of the matter is that how we plan is also very important.
For me, I like to sit quietly, make notes, scribble things out, starting again, brainstorming, drawing pictures, listing pros and cons and positives and negatives. Having a visual in front of me allows me time to explore different ideas, process them and then decide whether they will serve me well in my journey.
Planning can bring dreams to life, create inner excitement and positive focus for whatever your bigger picture may look like.
"Warriors were learners, forever learning and improving their knowledge and capabilities"
Read books and learn about everything you can. Even if it is something that you haven't explored before, try learning something new. It can inspire you greatly.
Listening is a key skill in learning. Talk to people. Whether that's friends, family or people who you don't know so well or maybe people you don't know at all. Listen to their stories, opinions and views. Embrace each and every one of them. You may hear something you have never heard before that you will come back to later in life or it could be something that enhances your life daily.
As we wander through life, different situations arise and sometimes we have to learn about things quickly in order to overcome and get through circumstances.
We learn from mistakes we make and although often traumatic these can make us better people and result in us becoming more mindful in how we deal with future problems.
Expand your knowledge as much as you can - there is no limit to learning and remember that our brain enjoys absorbing new information.
Find your strength, be bold, brave and fearless, think fully, plan wisely and learn learn and then learn some more.
Try to surround yourself with positive influential people who can offer advice, support and courage in whatever you choose to do and however you choose to be.
I believe we all have an inner warrior just waiting patiently inside.
Is your warrior ready to be seen, felt and heard?
Love Zara x