Build Your Strength


The theme I am incorporating into my personal yoga practice, my class teachings, and my videos this month is strength. When most people hear the word strength, their minds go towards the physical body and its capabilities (or lack of abilities). There is SO much more to strength than the physical realm. There are mental and emotional strengths.

I’m always working on my physical strength. As I get older, this month I turn 45, it gets harder and harder to build additional physical strength. I love yoga and it does keep me strong, but I have realized that I need to supplement additional cardiovascular and muscular strength exercises in order to maintain my physical strength. As my yoga practice has evolved and expanded, there are poses for which I  need more physical strength. This month I am setting a schedule to do more repetitions of strength exercises and add in pure cardiovascular exercise 3 times a week.

Mental strength is when a person needs to be able to have a thought or a vision and be able to stay true to it without faltering as time goes on in order to achieve forward motion toward lifelong goals. When it comes to my mental strength, I tend to falter when it comes to following through on projects without a deadline. I love starting projects, courses, exercise routines but if there is not an end date I do not have the drive or mental focus to keep at it. I am already searching for new and different projects to start. This month I am going to tackle all those unfinished projects and courses as well as get back on track with my exercise routine and stick to it for this month.

Emotional strength is when a person needs to have the strength to stay away from the negative aspects of their life that are pulling them down, but can’t. This can be especially true for relationships or friendships. Taking care of yourself emotionally requires strength. It means being able to recognize the things or people in life that are not bringing joy but rather angst or insecurity and being able to let them go without feeling guilty, upset, or attachment. Personally, I feel that I have an ego when it comes to my emotions. It is hard for me to allow others to see my emotions, it makes me feel vulnerable and exposed when I am hurting or upset and others see that side of me. I was brought up not to show emotions while I was playing softball, and since that was such an enormous part of my life growing up, I feel that leaked its way into my personal life, not allowing me to express my emotions as freely as I would like to with others in my life.

Living overseas is an emotional challenge. I miss family and friends on a daily basis. It’s emotionally taxing to make new friends each time I move to another country or even worse to be the one left behind as a close friend moves away. As I get older, I realize it is not as easy for me to let people in emotionally knowing that there is only a short window of time we will be able to share in person. I emotionally don’t have that strength to open up toward joy only to know that it will be lost. I have a tendency to be emotionally closed and only get to know people on a surface level so that I will not be hurt when the time comes to move on to the next adventure.  I am realizing that is holding me back from truly experiencing joy. This month I will let go of the superficial relationships that make me feel insecure and I will find the emotional strength I need to forge deeper bonds with those around me that support and encourage me without judgment.

These are my strength goals for the month. What are yours? Take a few moments to explore your physical, mental, and emotional strengths and find an area where you might like to work on your strength this month. If you are comfortable enough, I would love to hear from you about your journey. Namaste’