I believe that if you go through life not experiencing failure, then you aren’t pushing your limits, exploring your edge, or expanding your comfort zone. Sometimes my classes are tough, and that is when I am giving you the opportunity to exceed your expectations and/or self-limiting beliefs. Although sometimes we fall out of a pose, or struggle to even get in it, we are making a courageous effort in trying. If it were meant to be easy, then it wouldn’t necessarily be an exercise or a practice. What doesn’t challenge us, doesn’t change us. Sometimes it takes just as much mental effort as physical effort on our mat, and that mental effort builds inner strength to help us get through life’s challenges off the mat.

I leave my yoga mat feeling stronger every time. I’m stronger physically and mentally, because I also do the inner work, that essence of my being that worked just as hard as my body.

As a yogi, our spiritual journey doesn’t keep us from experiencing difficult times or facing times of darkness. My yoga journey has instead taught me how to use those dark or difficult times as opportunities to use compassion and kindness, as well as opportunities to learn and grow. It is our challenges, our struggles that make us stronger. Yoga has helped me embrace my reality, deal with it, sometimes gracefully, other times not so much, but I don’t run or hide. I show up for myself and deal. Our strength lies in our ability to accept, let go of what we think it should be, and surrender to what it is.

So when in class during a challenging asana, persist through it, surprise yourself with determination and strength, and that strength will spill over into your daily life. Your yoga practice will make you stronger, wiser, and more kind and thoughtful. Let these moments bring growth and transformation to your way of being.

What Strong People Do:

They move on. They don’t waste time feeling sorry for themselves. They don’t delight in casting themselves as a victim. They simply move on.

They embrace change. They welcome challenges and see them as opportunities.

They stay happy. They choose to be happy. Their happiness is found within and not found in external circumstances.

They don’t waste energy on things they can’t control.

They are kind. They are unafraid to speak up. They are authentic.

They are willing to take calculated risks.

They celebrate other people’s success. They don’t resent others.

From the Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu (Lou Cha) “Water is fluid, soft and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. Water is both soft and strong.” Be water.