We are Warriors

On this Veteran’s Day, I am grateful for the veterans in my family: Grampa Art, Great-Uncle Sol, and Great-Uncle Bill (whose 72 missions flown as a waist gunner with the U.S. Air Force during World War II is documented in Kevin Coyne’s book Marching Home. He is the guy on the right in this picture), and for all the veterans past and present.

Each of the three yoga classes I taught today featured all three Warrior poses. The warrior within balances effort with ease, breathes deeply and honors their dynamic edge spiritually, mentally and physically. Warriors possess the self-discipline to practice yoga regularly, on and off the mat. Making friends with ourselves and interacting with the world around us, conflicts invariably arise.

Peaceful warriors face these battles with equanimity and mindfulness. Whether our struggle is personal or interpersonal, we watch the emotions and challenges as they arise without attachment or aversion. Whether it’s a least favorite yoga pose or an unpleasant encounter with another person, a habit we’re striving to change, a physical ailment or an unsavory situation, we stay with our breath in the present moment to allay both fear and aggression from taking over. We fight our battle with open eyes and an open heart.

Thank the veterans in your life, past and present. You deserve the same admiration and respect. While I hope our list of veterans end soon, as I hope all wars will end, I wish you all courage as peaceful warriors.

Photo: Farrah Maffai, captured 12 November 2012 at http://nt.gmnews.com/news/2003-03-05/Front_page/014.html.

©2012 Amy Dara Hochberg. All Rights Reserved.