With the cooler, darker days of winter ahead of us, it may get tougher to step onto the mat. And as we spend less time moving, we spend more time in our heads. With that, it becomes easier to get stuck in loops of suffering. Such is the struggle of winter. And while those extra moments snug in bed each morning can be more tempting than moving the body and building heat from the inside, it’s a time when we must remember not to lose sight of our practice and our mental strength. We must remember our “why.” So, why do YOU practice yoga? There’s no right or wrong reason! Whether yoga asana is the only type of exercise you don’t hate, or whether it is your devoted spiritual path, I can bet you that yoga has helped you with this one thing: resilience.
Resilience is your ability to bounce back from adversity. When the going gets tough, you’re able to see things through. You can pull yourself up by your bootstraps, find a glimmer of hope in the distance, or find child’s pose and surrender. Somehow, you get through. Whether life has thrown you huge curveballs and mountains to climb, or your struggles have been of a quieter tune, we all need resilience. We tap into our resilience in the day to day, getting through traffic and tough conversations, and in the monumental struggles like existential questions and huge life transitions. But what if I told you that, according to Gina O’Connell Higgins, psychologist and resilience researcher, resilience is something that must be practiced? It builds upon itself and is a never-ending process! If you aren’t feeling so resilient these days, that’s okay. Resilience doesn’t happen overnight. I encourage you to hop on your mat and take a deep breath. It just might help.
Yoga teaches resilience. When you go to a yoga class, you’re making a dedication to coming into union with yourself for on average, 60-75 minutes. After all, the definition of yoga is “union” or “to yoke.” For this hour, you have the chance to drop all masks and meet yourself just as you are, facing the inner workings of your mind and spirit. This takes STRENGTH. Yes, it is brave to attempt a chaturanga, but it can be so much braver to go inside and participate in self-inquiry. This is the work, and sometimes it’s scary. BUT, if you can get through a yoga class, an hour of being present with yourself and checking in, you just might find the strength to move through larger life events. Mustering your last bit of strength for that final boat pose becomes a metaphor for moving through life’s struggles.
We’re here for you as you continue to build upon your resilient spirit! Want to learn more about yoga and resilience? Check out the following links below!
Ready to take a deeper dive into yoga? Check out Soul Strong Yoga’s online and self-paced Yoga Alliance Yoga Teacher Training at www.teachyogaforall.com. You’ll become a 200 hour certified yoga teacher with Yoga Alliance with a specialization in vinyasa yoga for all people.