The 5 warrior poses; Warrior 1, Warrior 2, Warrior 3, Reverse Warrior, and Humble Warrior, tell the story of Virabhadra, a warrior created by Shiva, God of destruction, utilized to carry out Shiva's revenge.
But before Shiva was vengeful, he was an eclectic hermit who found love with Sati, an incarceration of the goddess Mahadevi, who was born to help bring Shiva out of his long mediation and hermitage.
Sati's father, Daksha the Prajapati, disapproved of his daughters marriage to Shiva. Daksha held a yajna (fire sacrifice) and invited everyone, except his daughter and her unconventional husband.
Sati showed up to the yajna anyways, and her father insulted her husband, calling him a "wild animal".
Tales differ in how Sati showed her hurt and displeasure at her fathers insults, but either through meditation or by walking into the fire, Sati was consumed by flames.
Shiva was enraged to discover what had become of his wife, he tore his hair out, and from his discarded hair, Virabhadra emerged. A fierce warrior with a thousand arms, three fiery eyes, and a body as dark as storm clouds. He wore a garland of skulls and carried many terrifying weapons.
Shiva commanded Virabhadra to go to the yajna and behead Daksha and all his guests.
Virabhadra arrives at the yajna with sword in both hands, thrusting his way up through the earth from deep underground. (Warrior 1)
Virabhadra makes his presence known to the guests and stands with his sword poised, ready to strike. (Warrior 2)
Then moving swiftly and precisely, Virabhadra takes his sword and cuts off Daksha’s head (Warrior 3)
Later Shova arrives at the yajna and absorbs Virabhadra back into himself. His anger abates and he's filled with sadness and compassion (Reverse Warrior)
Shiva finds Daksha's headless body and replaces it with the head of a goat. Daksha is overwhelmed by Shiva's generosity and deems him Shankar, the kind and benevolent one. Daksha and the other gods and goddesses bow in honor of Shiva Shankar (Humble Warrior)
The Warrior Poses help us embody the cycle of ferocity, strength, power, then surrender and humility. As you practice these poses, envision your own spiritual Warrior, fighting against every day internal battles, such as pride, ego, and a distracted mind. Envelope yourself in the journey of fierce discovery, and determined will, to ultimately releasing and surrendering to these internal struggles. From ferocious Virabhadra to humble Shiva Shankar, embody the Warrior within yourself.