Many people ask my why I have chosen such an odd moniker for my online handle. Yogibattle!? Isn’t yoga supposed to be peaceful? Here is the short of it: in the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna and Arjuna are in the middle of a battlefield. To one side are all of Arjuna’s teachers. To the other side are all of his family and friends. There will be much calamity when the two sides meet.
Yoga teaches us to remain tranquil in the midst of many of life’s dilemmas. In many ways we have to summon the spirit of a warrior to withstand life’s onslaughts. My masthead photo was shot on at the Gettysburg battlefield a day after my Introductory II assessment in Pennsylvania (would find out shortly after this photo was taken that I had passed). If anyone has gone through the Iyengar certification process, they will quickly learn that balancing the teacher’s demands with family demands is quite a “battle” in itself, just like it is laid out in the Bhagavad Gita.
One of my favorite quotes from the late B.K.S. Iyengar is “To win a battle, a general surveys the terrain and the enemy and plans with counter measures. In a similar way, the Yogi plans the conquest of the Self.” To conquer oneself is not a violent act, it is separating all that is not us from that which is our true selves.
The lessons in the battlefield in the Gita remains true: do yoga no matter what, and all will work itself out.