The everyday warrior

Anat Geiger tells us a story from the Bhagavad Gita and explains why Warriors are her biggest source of inspiration on and off the yoga mat.

The story of the 5 warriors

In the Bhagavad Gita - a dialogue takes place between a warrior (Arjuna) and Krishna on the eve of a huge battle between hundreds and hundreds of 'bad guys' and 5 brothers (the good guys) who have tried to do all they can to avoid the battle.

According to the school of thought that I studied the Bhagavad Gita with, this battle is an analogy for what we go through every day of our lives.

The hundreds of bad guys represent the desires we have: we want things to be our way, we want to have material comforts, we want to manipulate life to serve our selfish needs.

On the other hand, the 5 good guys, the five brothers, they represent five chakras in us. They want to steer us in the right direction, to do the right thing (maybe not the easy thing). To have our best intentions to be good and kind and open and selfless and to serve us and serve the best in us.

A daily battle

We face these battles every day - between these two sides, sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. As yogis we have this commitment to try to strengthen these five warriors on our spine, so that we can face these battles with more strength and more determination.

That’s why the whole discipline of yoga was developed, so we could become these strong warriors - these warriors who will face these battles.

Every human has addictions and desires. The difference is, as yogis, we make a commitment to do the best we can each day - on and off the mat.

Reflection

In the very first verse of the Bhagavad Gita, the blind father of the warriors asks his advisor how his sons did in the field of battle. 

This is the question we should ask ourselves each day.

In my battle today how did I do? Did my desires win or did my best intention win? Could I have done better? And if I did well, this should not stop me from coming back the next day and trying again. And if I did not do well this should not stop me from trying again the next day and reaffirming my commitment

We are all warriors

This is what a warrior is - someone who trains every day to do the best that she can. This is what the whole theme of yoga is about and it inspires me greatly to come to the mat each day just as I am.

Some days I am strong and full of energy and some days I am feeling lazy and tired and I don’t want to do anything. But that is the battle I have to face every day and it should not stop me and it should not make me proud. It inspires me to just be this warrior. Some days I am this great shiny warrior and somedays I am this resentful lazy warrior.

But I am a warrior, I am here and I am on my yoga mat.

I find it a great inspiration on my yoga mat but also all the battles that we face off the yoga mat. To remain a warrior when things become very difficult. To have this commitment inside of me like this little light that guides everything we do.

I hope it will inspire you too.

Anat

(This article is a transcript of Anat's talk on 'what the warriors mean to me'.)

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