When we think ‘power’ we immediately conjure images of strength, control & speed, particularly in relation to our practice. However, theres a deeper layer that is far more ‘powerful’ than this concept alone.
“Behind me is infinite power, before me is endless possibility, around me is boundless opportunity.”
After setting our new year intentions and finding ways to keep the momentum going, this month we’ll be exploring how you can step into your power both on & off the mat.
Yoga has long been regarded a holistic approach to health & wellbeing, namely because of it’s multi-faceted approach to exercise. We don’t simply step on the mat for our 60 minute class and then back to reality as soon as we walk out the door, at least that’s not the intention.
Our yoga class, whether it’s Power, Hot, Slow Flow, Yin (or any other style of practice) is all about setting a solid foundation and finding overall balance. The power of yoga is it’s ability to find that balance between push & pull, effort & ease, Yin & Yang. The bonus is that once we achieve this balance on the mat, it easily translates off the mat.
“Yoga is a dance between control and surrender – between pushing and letting go – and when to push and when to let go becomes part of the creative process, part of the open-ended exploration of your being.”
~ Joel Kramer
Start with Tadasana (Mountain Pose) We draw strength from the foundation of this pose – grounded to the earth, strong through the centre, soft in our approach and lifted up from our core. In fact, this foundational pose sets the blueprint for every other posture found in yoga. When we allow too much rigidity or tension into our posture we tend to feel stuck and heavy, this carries easily into the rest of our practice. When we find this balance between effort & ease in our practice, we begin to feel empowered. We move with more ease, grace, control and confidence.
It’s the same off the mat. When you don’t have that strong foundation, through focus or intention, you can start to feel stuck and heavy in daily life. You begin to question choices, wonder about circumstances or feel less confident in your daily actions. You begin to lose your power.
So how do we step into our power off the mat?
It’s when we feel it on the mat, integrating our body, breath and mind, that we tend to feel it off the mat too. When we’re able to set that solid foundation and find balance physically, we will feel empowered emotionally. Take the simple 10 breaths rule as an example. You will have at some stage in your life heard the strategy “when they start to feel angry, emotional or overwhelmed, stop and take 10 long breaths.” If you haven’t, try it now.
Yes, the power of the breath.
If 10 simple breaths can have such a profound effect on us emotionally, imagine what 60 minutes of breath and movement could do.
“The power to change your body through yoga creates confidence in our ability to change your life.”
~ Baron Baptiste
If you start to feel stuck or heavy, flighty or low in life, make the time for daily movement. Allow space to sit quietly and focus on the breath. Come back to your mat.
It’s this balance of holding on and letting go in our practice that teaches us how to find the balance of control and surrender in life. Step into your power on the mat and you’ll find your empowerment off the mat.
About the author: Andy Broadbear is a qualified yoga therapist & teacher, who specialises in pre/postnatal + women’s health. She is also co-founder of YogaMamas, a health & wellness blogger, photographer and busy mama of 3!
Detoxify & energise with Hot Yoga. Tone & sculpt with Power Flow. Strengthen & stretch with Basics and Slow Flow. Relax & mobilise with Yin Yoga at our beautiful studio in Hawthorn, Melbourne.
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