Happy 2017 everyone!! 🙂
I wanted to start the New Year with what I’ve named the “BeLikeYoga Series”, which for me summarises how the qualities we develop during our yoga practise are also the ones that help us during our life challenges.
And I wanted to feature Strength as the first one.
Anyone who has gone to a yoga class, or simply seen yoga pictures, gets a sense of how strong most yogis are. And the better we get with the asanas, the more we realise of the role that our strengths plays into them.
Yoga practise does make us stronger, but strength is just a result of regular practise. The stronger our arms, our legs and our core become, the more postures we are able to reach… and the less our body hurts afterwards. We just can handle it better, our body can handle it better.
The same happens mentally, in my opinion. There are times in life, challenges, situations… that are just like those new asanas. They just look impossible, overwhelming, too much. But it is precisely at those times when, like in yoga, we need to build our strength the most – to hold on, to keep going.
Like in yoga: work on, sailing through, calmly and trustingly… until then, one day, we realise it does not hurt that much. There is not so much muscle (or heart) pain anymore, our body/mind got stronger and so did we.
Sometimes, especially when we first face a life challenge (or a new yoga posture), we just cannot handle it alone. We still don’t have the capability, the strength. In yoga, we do get support to go through those new asanas when our body is still too weak, and that is okay. It can be a partner, a brink, a wall or a belt, each exercise requires a different type of support and yoga has tools for all of them.
In life, it is nice to do the same. Admit when we need support, when things get too difficult, we feel to weak, and rely on those who can be there for you. A friend, a family member, a boyfriend/girlfriend, husband/wife, a colleague, a teacher, a stranger, a helpline call… There are always options out there. We need to listen to our feelings in the same way that we listen to our body in yoga, and accept that we can’t face a situation alone, if that is the case.
That happened to me the months before I started yoga. I was going through a difficult time personally and I felt weak. Or maybe the circumstances required me to be too strong too fast, and I could not keep up. Fortunately, I have really good friends – those that are there for you, those who you can turn to and be as weak as you feel, those who don’t require you to pretend be stronger than you are.
They were there during my times of need, when I felt hurt and scared. And I was brave enough to accept my vulnerability. Some of them were lifelong friendships I just know I will always have, others where unexpected new friends that brought me new energy. We never know where our support will come from.
Another unexpected source of support was discovering yoga. Not only brought peace to my anxiety but, like this series goes, it taught me to learn from each class – to be in life like I am in yoga.