What does courage mean to you?
The root of the word courage comes from the French word coeur, which means heart. In yogic circles, it is often stated that courage comes from the heart, which contains two dual emotions: love and fear.
Being brave doesn’t mean an absence of fear, it means choosing to do what feels right despite feeling afraid. Bravery stems from understanding your truths and trusting yourself to do the right thing.
When we are in harmonious times, it’s easy to express our beliefs and our truth. Many of us yogis surround ourselves with like-minded people seeking to live life on a higher vibration. We choose to focus on the positive and live from a place of compassion and love. Practicing these principles on the yoga mat strengthens our resolve to practice them off the mat.
How do we stand in our truth when it is challenged from all sides? How do we remain peaceful and positive when there’s no choice but to fight to preserve our dignity, our values, our beliefs, and even our world?
The concept of being a warrior and fighting doesn’t have to mean that we are denying our spirituality.
If you’ve studied the Bhagavad Gita, one of yoga’s seminal texts, you know that the protagonist, Arjuna, faced his biggest dilemma not simply because he led the army onto the battlefield, but because he had to fight against his own family. Arjuna struggled to reconcile how to be a warrior with the spiritual teachings of peace and compassion. Krishna advised Arjuna that sometimes doing the right thing is to stand up and fight for your values, despite pain and seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
Learning to dig deep and operate from our courageous hearts often feels uncomfortable and fills us with fear. At some point, we will be asked to step out of our comfort zone and take action––often action that scares us to the depth of our being. We need to build this power from the inside out and tap into our Shakti through Sadhana or practice.
Step onto your yoga mat or sit on your meditation pillow with the intent to build your own strength, compassion and personal power. Cultivate your inner light to learn to discern how we can make a difference. The more attuned we are to our own inner truths, the more we can share them and stand for them, no matter what obstacles stand in the way.
This week we invite you to cultivate the strength and courage already rising to the surface from within. Remember our life on the mat mirrors our life on the mat. Challenge yourself to take chances, stop playing small, and go for whatever it is you want. These yoga classes encourage moving outside of your comfort zone, incorporate more complex postures you may not have attempted before, and help you take your first step toward achieving.
1. Angela Kukhahn - Quest for the Press 1
2. Jen Hicks - Invoke Your Inner Warrior
3. Jack Cuneo - Align & Flow: Ashtanga Inspiration
4. Shannon Paige - Apex Fusion Inversions: Up, Under, Down & Across
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