When it’s warm out, I often write sitting on my back deck facing the White Pine tree that towers over our backyard. I’ve learned a lot about strength from contemplating it’s stalwart and stately presence.
Sure, yoga is excellent for building the functional strength that’s vital for healthy movement as we age. White Pine reminds me that there’s also an inner dimension to the strength we build in yoga that’s equally important.
Yoga teaches that within each human being lies a core of unshakable strength that we can harness to live with greater courage and dignity.
When my students share with me what’s going on for them, I see some of the many ways this inner fortitude shows up as they meet the challenges in their lives.
It’s the tenacity and patience shown when caring for an ailing parent. It’s the determination and stamina displayed when undergoing treatment for a recurring illness. It’s the resolve to redefine oneself after retiring from a fulfilling career. And it’s the brave vulnerability embraced in grieving the loss of a loved one.
Yoga helps you access a strength that transcends muscle and bone. It fosters the strength of mind that anchors you amidst life’s uncertainties and challenges, and the strength of spirit that renews hopefulness, restores equanimity, and nurtures grounded confidence, especially in the face of adversity.
When it’s practiced within the context of yogic wisdom, the strength you cultivate in yoga becomes like White Pine - a steadfast, abiding presence you can rely on to steady yourself - body, mind, and spirit.