In yoga the warrior poses are the most resolute postures, combining strength, flexibility, and balance. Body and mind are integrated and aligned. Energy flows into you, through you, and out of you toward what is coming. At this time of year, when career decisions come down, we all need warrior skills to meet the challenges offered by desperate situations. One essential principle might be called “Four-Way Vision.”
Consider the Warrior II Pose, also called viribhadrasana or Warrior B. You stand with both feet firmly grounded, one pointing ahead and the other rooted behind; you spread your arms into a T and sink forward, looking straight ahead over the middle finger of your forward hand. You can feel energy rising up through your feet and legs and shooting along your arms. Your back and torso stand straight up, as if a steel lightning rod ran from the crown of your head down your spine and into the ground.
Now think about what this posture betokens. Your feet connect you to the earth; they are your foundation, grounded on your wisdom and skills, the fruits of your experience, education, and character. You draw strength upward from these sources, which can never be taken away.
Your head, spine, and torso connect you with the sky, with heaven. This is where your hopes and aspirations, your best values, and your creativity all come from. The heavenly energy and the earth energy meet in your eyes and shoot out through the arm along which you gaze. This arm reaches out to meet the challenge. It focuses and directs all your energy forward, but it also touches and learns. It does not shrink from contact. It lights up and ignites whatever it meets.
Your other arm reaches back to draw strength from those behind you, that multitude of comrades and supporters who have a stake in your struggle. These are your parents, friends, teachers and mentors. They all care; they all want you to flourish and succeed. They back you up and push you forward.
A warrior needs to remember and practice four-way vision in order to stay balanced and meet the challenge. Can you turn what comes at you into what comes to you? That is the question.