My students are indeed YogaWarriors and I am honored and blessed to be able to lead them in their practice when they choose to study with me. I coined the name “Yoga Warriors” as a basis to the philosophy I try to practice in my day to day life and in the teaching of my classes.
As with all great warrior traditions from the Samurai, to the Sioux, to the mythical Amazon women warriors, we also have a cause. Ours is the great battle for the liberation of our minds. A victory in this battle must be assured if we are to obtain our goals of a liberated mind and a disease and stress free body. However, to achieve this goal will take a bit of suffering (tapas) and perhaps many years (even lives) of a consistent, dedicated, and pious practice. Or as written in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, “Success in yoga follows he who practices, not he who practices not.”
As Yoga Warriors on our journey we will undoubtedly cross paths with many formidable enemies that must be eradicated. These obstacles include a sick and weak body, a weak and distracted mind, a lack of discipline and enthusiasm, self defeating doubts and fears, laziness, ignorance, cowardice, envy, greed, jealously, desire, aversion, attachment, perhaps an overindulgent diet and lifestyle, expectations rooted in ego. These are just a few of the enemies of your practice that lay in wait for you. (And all of these are just for the experienced yogis, Lord help the beginners!) Fear not Yogis, for as a warrior tempers his steel we can also strengthen ourselves for this struggle. Our minds and bodies are our weapons and just as a sword is thrust into the fire and heated for shaping and strengthening we also can use our breath to stoke the furnace that heats, shapes, and strengthens our bodies. We can use the anvil of our Asanas and the hammer of our will to defeat and eradicate these enemies while purifying and cleansing our minds and bodies. However, that’s just the beginning. Afterwards, meditation waits.