It is quite a feeling practicing yoga…. and I wish that every single person in the whole world knew of this! Probably 95% of my experience on the mat has always been a humbling one. And the degree of humility varies with each time I flow through a sun salutation, balance in an inversion, breathe fully through a backbend or relax completely in a fold. The one thing I find though that is if you just keep on practicing consistently, the one thing that remains consistent is…transformation—that your body, your mind, or your soul (or maybe all of the above) evolves each time.
“Practice and all is coming.” — We yogis know this phrase all too well. Just being on the mat, completing a practice unlocks tension and opens the mind. I’m currently entering another transition in my practice. When I started out a few years back, all I cared about was getting from point A to B, without caring if I was powering through just so I could say, “Yes,I did yoga.” or “Yes, I did those poses”. But with the practice of asana, you can only power through for so long before you hit a wall. And boy is this wall pretty hard! When I hit my first wall, that’s when everything opened up and I felt as if I started evolve and transform, albeit slowly. In the 3 or so years of consistent almost everyday practice, I’ve felt my mindset about yoga evolve from just getting physically stronger and learning poses to becoming more curious about my body, to figuring out what it is exactly I needed and how yoga can work for me. The more I practice, the more I study, then the more tangible, palpable the transformations have been.
One idea that seems to constantly evolve for me, which i wanted to explore here, is the definition of strength. I discovered more layers each time I got stronger physically and “conquered a pose” and yet more layers unraveled the more I learned to sit still or just be in a pose. I had a chat with YogaWorks Teacher Trainer David Kim and asked him his thoughts on this and how the practice evolves the yogi.
Nica (N): How would you Define Strength. What is strength for you ?