The beautiful story behind Virabhadrasana pose :
Is one of love, hate, rage, wrath, compassion and forgiveness. King Daksha seriously disapproved of his daughter Sati’s Union to the “unorthodox” God Lord Shiva On hearing his daughter had run away to marry Shiva he had a large gathering with all the deities for a feast and used the opportunity to scorn the union his daughter had made. Shiva was not invited and when Sati arrived her father mocked her husband infront of all of his guests. Sati was so upset she returned to her father stating that she wanted nothing to do with him for evermore including the earthly body she had been given. She went into a yogic trance and created so much fire within (Agni) that she burst into flames.
Shiva was so enraged he tore off his clothes and ripped out his dreadlocks and threw one to earth in protest . The ancient texts state that Shiva transformed the dreadlock into a warrior “virabhadra” and was directed by Shiva to go to the gathering of King Daksha and kill all the guests and to behead the King and drink his blood.
Virabhadrasana 1 This pose is when virabhadra shoots up from deep underground carrying a sword above his head.
Virabhadrasana 2 The arms in this posture represent the sword straight and level ready to strike … Focus / dristi at the middle of the front of the sword for accurate aim.
Virabhadrasana 3 Represent the moment of the massacre of King Daksha when virabhadra lifts the sword in the air as instructed by shiva and beheads the King.
When Lord Shiva arrives at the scene rather than pleased with his success he is filled with sorrow. He absorbs virabhadra back to his own form, finds another head (that of a goat) for the King and scoops up the ashes of his beloved shiva and returns to solitude.
This story is not about battle but a story about the higher self battling with the ego in the name of love. We are not celebrating the battle in this pose but acknowledging our spiritual warriors battle with our ego and self ignorance that can lead to so much suffering.