“Kites rise highest against the wind – not with it.”– Winston Churchill
Oh the storms of life, how they do come like waves and wash us clean but also renew us with with Strength …
Strength. It seems to find us just when we need it; when we think we have nothing left. It is layered within our physical bodies, in the way we move, the way we get done all we think we “must” do each day. We do our best to stay active, go to the studio/gym, all to have the physical strength we need throughout our days.
And then there is a deeper strength, something at our core, our center. This is what I believe we are born with and also what we take with us when we leave our bodies. It is something that must be found in the storms we face throughout our lives, almost like waking up to what was there all along. And, like physical strength, it can be toned. We can practice stepping into our fear, our anxiety, our challenges and be with them, work them out and then settle ourselves before we get ready for another one. Life is designed to make us stronger and it is up to us to use every minute to tone up.
Explore: To the Core
Now, let’s get physical, physical!
I was at a workshop with Rolf Gates, one of the strongest yoga and writing teachers I know and he said “How you stand in Tadasana (Mountain) is how you stand in life.” Talk about a strong statement …
Now when I think of a strong pose, I think Mountain. Mountains can withstand almost any storm as they are built on a strong foundation. When practiced, Mountain pose can create strength for the mind and body as you become rooted from the ground up. It can be done most anywhere. You don’t need anything other than solid ground (for fun, try Mountain Pose on sand to test your balance and close your eyes) and anyone, any age can do it standing or seated.
Tadasana (tah-DAHS-anna) – Mountain Pose
Tadasana, Mountain Pose, is a great way to ground yourself in the beginning of the practice. You can come back to it often to check on the breath and balance within the body.
It might look like you’re just standing there, but Mountain Pose is an active pose that improves posture, balance, and focus. Tadasana is the foundational pose for all standing yoga postures and full inversions, such as Handstand and Headstand. It is the pose from which every other standing pose in your practice is born! The alignment, muscle movements, and mindset you learn in Tadasana are applied every time you do a standing yoga pose.
- Improves posture
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Firms abdomen and buttocks
- Relieves sciatica
- Reduces flat feet
-Benefits (from yogajournal.com)
1. Stand with feet together and arms at the side, fingertips spread, palms facing out.
2. Lift and spread your toes and gently release them back down and rock back and forth and front to back.
3. Come back to standing still with your weight balanced evenly on the feet.
4. Firm thigh muscles and lift kneecaps keeping the belly engaged.
5. Inhale and imagine a line of energy from the toes through the hips, torso, neck and the crown of the head and lengthen the spine.
6. Press the shoulder blades into your back and release them down your back without lifting the chest.
- Reach your arms overhead
- Interlock fingers and reach side to side
- Interlace hand behind back
- Add a slight back bend as you reach back
- Spread your feet 3 to 5 inches apart
- Slight bend of the knees
Now that we worked through the core (both outer and inner) let’s discuss what we put in our bodies, our nutrition.
PQ: On a typical day, what does your diet look like? (refer back to the “Food/Feelings Journal” from Spiraling to Wellness Layer 1, page 25)
- Upon Waking:
- Nighttime snack:
Is there anything that stands out? Pay special attention to the energy you have or don’t have throughout the day, especially during your workouts. Beyond what you eat, it’s all about timing … learn more about strength as it related to nutrition by Iron man and founder of Simple Again, Dan Young.
+ Spiraling Tools
Playlist: NS Strength