What does it mean to really feel your power? There are so many postures in yoga where the teacher says: engage your core, that’s where your power comes from. For the longest time I didn’t quite understand what it meant in concrete terms. Of course, in abstract terms, using your core is a lofty ideal, but which muscles are you physically using when you engage your core? Your abs? Your pelvic floor? Your psoas? Your bandas? It’s one thing to feel your power on an emotional and energetic level, and a whole other thing to feel it physically in your body. I know the three are connected. Feeling it in your physical body is the easiest way because you can see measurable results. For example, in any balancing posture you need to engage your core to balance and hold the posture in stillness. Feeling strong emotionally is the least easiest way because emotions are subjective. For example, today I may feel strong and confident about myself, while the next day I may not. Feeling strong energetically, well some people would call that charisma, magnetism, attraction or power. Here, you need feedback from your environment and feedback from the people around you. I have been playing with this form of power recently and I have questions. What is this subjective power all about then? Is it inherently something you already have that you need to re-discover or is it something you build from scratch, piece by piece?
I am of the opinion that reclaiming your power is a process that takes time, moment by moment, experience by experience. It is a combination of both being born with power and of cultivating power as you grow. In my yoga practice, I have learnt to feel what my inner power feels like: physically in my body, emotionally when sitting with difficult emotions and energetically when I leave class feeling absolutely rejuvenated. It is an ongoing process. It is a daily journey. Then, the tricky part is taking that power with me into the world and interacting with the people around me. Can you relate to giving your power away to people who you secretly think are ‘better’ than you or ‘know more’ than you or ‘have more’ than you? That feeling of not being good enough; that feeling of striving to be more and give more? The need for approval from others? These are all ways that we unconsciously give our power away and leave ourselves feeling depleted and ‘less than’. When you subordinate to others and inject their values into your life, that’s a sure fire way of dis-empowering yourself. Equally, if you over power others and inject your values onto them, it is also dis-empowering because unconsciously you know that the power you hold is an illusion. You can read more about values here. Or click on this article for a more in depth look.
I have found one of the most practical ways to empower yourself is to align your goals with your highest values, do the things that matter most to you and make you feel fulfilled. Surround yourself with people who inspire and uplift you, people who think big and allow you to expand. Your happiness is your responsibility. Do what you love and love what you do. Yes, it is easy to say and sometimes difficult to implement. But trust me, it is possible. I have a few workshops coming up in the next couple of weeks that address practical steps you can take to doing what you love and loving what you do. I will keep you posted.
In the mean time, I will see you all in yoga class!