Whether you’re new to yoga or an experienced practitioner, all it takes is that first moment you step on the mat to realise that this is far more than just a physical practice of strength. You only have to approach your practice with an impatient mindset to know that you’re never going to find balance in Tree Pose. Or witness the deep release you feel in pigeon when you come from a place of kindness.

Yoga literally means “union”, the unity of body, mind & soul.

It has a direct cause and effect relationship, meaning what you bring to the mat mentally will present itself physically, and what you bring in body can affect the mind. The key is in influencing one element with the other, working towards finding true connection and balance.

As we dive back into the challenges of a lockdown period in Melbourne, both our strength of body & mind will be tested. Can we find ways to keep moving the body & breath during isolation. Can we find the strength of mind to stay positive and prevent feelings of stress and anxiety creeping in.

Our yoga practice is a valuable way to combat our physical, mental and emotional challenges – making us stronger in both body & mind. It helps us to balance our emotions, ease tension whilst keeping us strong, promoting positive thought and a ‘strong on the inside, soft on the outside’ approach.

“If you can’t fly, then run. If you can’t run, then walk. If you can’t walk, then crawl. But whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.” ~ Martin Luther King

A healthy way to approach your practice with strength of body & mind is by setting a Sankalpa or intention such as “I will step on the mat every day”, but being flexible enough to accept what you discover when you get there.

Discipline is a key component of yoga and the great Sages placed emphasis on our ability to bring discipline to our practice. However, that doesn’t mean pushing yourself beyond your limits and driving yourself to injury by not listening to your body. Strength is about setting that intention but finding balance within that strength. Know when to drive forward and when to rest. Balance Yin & Yang with dynamic and restorative practices. Include meditation & pranayama (breath) as part of your daily practice.

“Yoga is not about touching your toes, it is what you learn on the way down.” ~ Jigar Gor

The power in ‘strength’ is not the end goal but in the process or journey of getting to that goal. What strength does is set us on a path and gives us the motivation to keep moving forward. Exploring the physical challenges we find along the way. Having strength of mind to continue the journey despite those challenges, whilst also honouring where we are at on any given day. Having the strength to rest when needed.

How can you harness the power of strength?

As we enter into a challenging period, resolve to make a commitment to your practice. Weave the power of yoga into your schedule by aligning your tasks and actions with your practice. Set aside non-negotiable time for yourself by committing to stepping on the mat regularly.

Be committed to your intention but flexible in your approach. Learn to go with the flow and honour how you feel each and every day. Some days you’ll be firing on all cylinders and that Power class will align perfectly, other days you may resonate with the nurturing practice of Yin. The key is to listen to your body to honour where it’s at and nurture your mind by letting go of any judgement or expectation.

And lastly, embrace your growth on and off the mat. That is the true beauty of yoga, that we are always growing under its influence, both in our practice and in life, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

‘Strength’ is your power.

How are you going to approach strength as your power this week? Perhaps set yourself up with a positive affirmation. An example is ‘I am making a commitment to invest in my health every day. I am worth it. I deserve the benefits of being healthy.’ 

Explore and create your own.

We look forward to seeing you online this week where our teachers will weave our theme of ‘strength is my power’ into their classes and teachings.

See you on the mat soon!
Team Kula

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About the author: Andy is a qualified Yoga Therapist & Teacher. She is Communications Manager at Kula Yoga, co-owner of High Tide Yoga on the Bellarine and runs her own small Yoga Therapy business. Andy is also a health & wellness blogger, hobby photographer and mama of 3!
Photo credit: Kula teacher Stephanie Jackowski by Andybbear Photography

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Strengthen, energise, release & thrive with Hot Yoga, Vinyasa Flow, Slow Flow and Yin Yoga classes at our beautiful studios in Hawthorn & Hampton, in Boroondara and Bayside Melbourne.

Our studios also host regular yoga workshops, Victorian weekend yoga retreats, and overseas retreats to exotic places like Bali, Thailand & India. We also offer as a mobile yoga programs for community, school and corporate groups.

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