by Eric Shaw
Indian artists made careful choices about how to position Indian gods and goddesses in painting and sculpture.
They meditated to discover what deities looked like, finding familiar bodily positions in their visions.
These arrangements became well-known “power poses,” called pratimas in the tradition. Many of these poses are asanas, too.
What we call Warrior Pose is found throughout Indian art, usually indicates aggressive activity or anger.
Because stories of gods and goddesses are supposed to guide our growth and transformation, anger and aggressive activity is a symbol of the inner ferocity needed to destroy our false understanding of the world.
Though many gods are found in these positions of aggression, it is Shiva, the lord of the yogis, who’s probably the best-known symbol of the self-transformatative work called sadhana—and who is often pictured in a ferocious attitude.
Indian gods take the form of all sorts of personalities besides their primary one (Vishnu is also Krishna, for example), and we see Shiva in his form as the fierce warrior called Virabhadra (for whom the pose is named) in figure 1.READ MORE AT BAHIRANGA.COM