I am a Spiritual Warrior.
“So even if the hot loneliness is there, and for 1.6 seconds we sit with that restlessness when yesterday we couldn’t even sit for one, that’s the journey of the warrior.”
- When Things Fall Apart, Pema Chodron
“‘That--what you just did? That is the Journey of a Warrior. Now, don’t forget to breathe. You need to remember to breathe.’”
- Love Warrior, Glennon Doyle
Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle immediately captivated me, the carefully crafted series of letters knit together by pure creativity. The memoir is her journey as a warrior. Ultimately she sees herself as a “love warrior” who navigated the complexities of growing and existing in our complicated world.
But there are so many different warriors.
This fact showed within the first few classes I taught as a yoga teacher. Warrior I, Warrior II, Warrior III, Humble Warrior, Peaceful Warrior. Each can be used together to craft a perfect sequence. One can lead to another or act independently as a transition. One warrior may manifest by itself. One warrior may find strength and purpose through being in communion with another.
Unconsciously, some form of warrior appears in all of the classes I teach. Why? What’s the purpose of this?
I didn’t know why I did this previously, but now I understand. Every physical yoga practice is the journey of a warrior. The warrior fights for the mind, body, and spirit to exist together. The breath moves the life force of the spirit. The body speaks to the mind. The mind works to resist judgment. The spirit flows as the mind opens.
Yoga is my spiritual discipline. I find God in my practice which is my embodied prayer of praise, for myself, for my creator. I was reminded of a page I read a few years ago:
“...to become a spiritual warrior…. The warrior has awareness. ...the war in our minds requires discipline. Not the discipline of a soldier, but the discipline of a warrior. ...The warrior has control. Not control over another human, but control over one’s own emotions, control over one’s own self. It is when we lose control that we repress the emotions, not when we are in control. The big difference between a warrior and a victim is that the victim represses, and the warrior refrains. To refrain is to hold the emotions and to express them in the right moment, not before, not later. That is why warriors are impeccable. They have complete control over their own emotions and therefore over their own behavior.”
- The Four Agreements, Don Miguel Ruiz
Spiritual warrior. That’s what I want to be.
Glennon Doyle found her warrior self as a “love warrior.” My inner warrior is a “spiritual warrior.” This means that I have the ability to embody God through the faith and doubt rollercoaster. When I feel that hot loneliness, my spiritual warrior self fights until I find a friend in God once more.
War-ri-or : noun; a brave or experienced soldier or fighter
Fighting bravely makes me a warrior. The struggle between the times of faith and doubt in God is a fight. Every time I am reminded of the God that I am fighting for: the God of peace, the God of equity, the God of love. The God I fight for reveals who God is. God chose me to be a spiritual warrior, especially in my yoga practice.