Awareness Connection Experience
Warrior poses are being practiced a lot in Yoga classes. So, what is the essence of these Warrior postures? We can understand these āsanas from a Mahābhārata story:
A group of warriors are studying under their mentor Droṇa. One day, Droṇa wants to know if they grasp the art of concentration. Droṇa sets up a small wooden bird in a distant tree and asks his students to strike the eye of the wooden bird with their arrow.
Before the warriors take action, Droṇa asks his students what they see.
“I see the wooden bird, the leaves beside the bird, the branch the bird is sitting on, the tree. I can see grass under the tree, other trees around, the sky, the clouds…”
One by one, students give a similar answer. They name off everything. Droṇa asks them to put down their bows and even does not allow them to try as he knows that they won’t hit the eye of the bird.
At last Droṇa reaches Arjuna. “What do you see?”
“The eye of the wooden bird” Arjuna answers clearly.
“Is this the only thing you can see? Are you sure? There are lots of things around. Your eyesight must have some problems.” Droṇa is testing Arjuna.
“The eye of the wooden bird, this is the only thing I see.” Arjuna answers firmly.
Droṇa is pleased with this response and orders Arjuna to shoot. Arjuna holds his bow steady, gazing at the target and shoots the arrow which goes straight forward and hits the wooden bird’s eye.
Self-inquiry from the story: The ability to see can be an obstacle to fulfilling a task. The ability to perform a difficult āsana can lead us in the wrong direction of Yoga practice. Is Yoga for the purpose to get power or Self-realization?