Sacred Warrior Training is an integrated system that evolved through my journey of healing, and years of work as a personal trainer, boxing coach, artist and meditation instructor. I’ve always used a holistic approach while working with clients; addressing the body, mind & spirit in our practices, but it wasn’t until I integrated my work and study as an herbalist that all the pieces came together.
Sacred Warrior practice connects us with the elements—earth, water, fire and air— within and without. When we tune in through our movement and meditation practices, we can feel, and come to understand how these elements express themselves in our body, mind & spirit. When we engage medicinal plants found in our immediate environment that relate to each element, we cultivate a deepening connection to nature and experience plants as collaborators in healing. This combination accelerates our self awareness in connection with our bodies and the body of the earth.
Our Practice: Earth, Water, Fire & Air
We begin with root medicine because we need an anchor. To be here. To receive energy. To plug into the source energy of mother earth. When we’re not rooted, energy dissipates. We need to build our practice on a solid foundation. As we develop a stable foundation, we can relax and let go. The more we relax and let go, the more grounded we become.
As we let go, we begin working with the water element. When we’re liquidy and heavy we are simultaneously fast and relaxed, fluid and receptive. We can respond to our environment more easily. In the realm of martial arts and boxing, all of our body weight (and then some) is moving through our punches when we let go. Bruce Lee always said ” Be like Water.” Water effortlessly flows around obstacles and can wear seemingly impenetrable barriers down. If water is flowing freely, it grounds us to earth.
Next, we move up to the solar plexus. Fire. Where we digest our food and our experiences. This may be where we store anger in the body that needs releasing. Fire is also expressed through our inner light, our gaze, or our stare. Students really feel the inner predator or primal self when we work with staring and stalking our ‘prey.’ Fire is also our explosive energy, our heart, passion and electricity.
Finally, we move up to the air element. This is breath, movement, winds of change. We sense what’s happening around us through sound and sensation. We have the ability to engage an incredibly wide breadth of perception. When we practice engaging our senses in a focused manner, we can respond more completely to our environment, and with our full power (which includes the strength of our sensitivity).
When we move through the elements like this, it often becomes clear where we may be stuck, tense or imbalanced. Everything shows up in our practice. This is an opportunity to transform. I love to use boxing as a tool for that reason. There are so many teachings in the art of boxing that are analogous to life. If we can recognize, and move beyond patterns that don’t serve us in training, we can conquer them beyond training, as well.
In our upcoming series, we’ll work with a different plant, element, corresponding movement, meditation and mindfulness practice each month. This will allow us to dive deep, increase awareness, and develop health building rituals within a supportive community. Our practices will remind us that we often have everything we need within us, and in the case of the medicinal plants; directly under our feet.