When I first started yoga, one of the initial discoveries that I found was how I interpreted strength within my body.
As a small woman who had spent her life lifting heavy things, working with animals that generally weighed over half a ton and using my body to it's extremes the way I had learnt to be strong was to tense everything.
As I sat with this for a while and thought about it I realised this was not only how I felt I needed to be strong when physically tested, but it was also where I placed my armor when i was emotionally tested.
I felt so wobbly in my centre and my own internal self belief was so low that the only way I could be strong in the face of adversity was to armor up from the outside, pull up the draw bridge, lift the barriers and take cover.
But what if this isn't how we need to be strong? What if we can find our own internal strength that allows our external walls to stay down, that allows us to be able to see the other persons point of view but at the same time not get walked over?
Brene Brown talks about "Strong Back, Soft front and Wild Heart" and last nights yoga session was based on this, getting us to think about where we hold our beliefs of strength, where our armour comes up and where we could soften but still stay strong.
We've been taught that softness is a weakness, we've learnt that if we let our barriers down then we get pushed about and walked over.
But what if there was another way?
When we physically start to draw strength from the core of ourselves we become stronger and supple, we no longer are rigid, easily breakable, but we still have the abilty to hold firm at our centre.
Emotionally when we do the same and draw our strength from the inside we can hold our own beliefs, set our boundaries, be true to ourselves but at the same time listen to others, shift and change as we own our truth without feeling like we have to barrier up fully.
This allows us to connect with others, but more so use our strength in a way that helps us and others around us, we don't exhaust ourselves so quickly or live in fear of being bulldozed over. We can be our beautiful powerful soft selves that allow our wild hearts to shine.
Head over and have a practice of last nights session, get curious in noticing when your armour gets triggered and how you can soften your outside but strengthen your own centre, notice when you worry about setting boundaries or letting your guard down, do you worry about being too strong, or too weak? Can you meet in the middle, find balance, and thrive with your string back and soft front.
Sending love & I'll see you on the mat