If You're Not Getting Stronger...

To become a yoga instructor, I went through my teacher training at Glenmore Yoga and Wellness Center, in Richmond, VA.  I learned all about the history, philosophy, and asanas (poses).  As part of my training, I was required to observe a variety of levels of yoga classes. 

One such class was a "Gentle Ageless" class, taught by the Center's co-founder, Nancy.  I've written about her in another post: Let Someone Know They Inspire You; she's pretty great.  While sitting with pen and paper to jot down any phrases, sequences, or notes I might be able to use in preparation for my own classes, I heard the following from Nancy to an older student:

"If you're not getting stronger, you're getting weaker." 

This, although maybe entirely intuitive and evident to others, blew my mind!  I guess I realized, but never articulated the concept to myself.  She was explaining to her older students that functional flexibility and strength must be maintained for a prolonged healthy life.  The responsibility to prevent falls, feel good, and remain stable ultimately depends on them.  There is no such thing as treading water and staying stagnant.

When I got home that night, I shared the simple quote with Danny and he, too, loved it.  It applies, not only to wellness/ physical health, but really anything in your life you see as a strength--your job, your parenting skills, your friendships, your mental stamina, your happiness, your relationships...

My suggestion is we all work to grow our strengths.  First, we must identify them.  Next, we must commit to ourselves, knowing that the time and effort are worth the energy (and that we're worth it, too!).  Then, we must build strength whenever possible.  If you look at your goals one day at a time, one hour at a time, you can start to live there, rather than in the overwhelming place of looming years-long goals and lifestyle changes.  Remember, Baby Steps!

What will your stronger look like?

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