I went to a new yoga class last weekend. It was called “Heated Power Flow” Yoga. I knew it might be tough for me since I don’t like hot rooms and I don’t do a continuous flow practice that often. But I have come to understand that challenging myself every once in awhile can be a good thing. I always learn something new when I do.
So I leaned into the practice with a mindset that I would do what I could. I would stay in the room. I would stay on the mat. Michaela, the instructor gently guided us into downward dogs but with an emphasis on our biceps. “Turn them in, don’t dump into the shoulders, expand your upper back,” she lovingly reminded us.
And there it was. That gift I get every time I get on the mat. That newness. That awareness. That realization that I have yet one more muscle or tendon or bone in my body which I am not utilizing enough or didn’t even know existed. I felt it immediately when I made such a small correction. The turning in of my upper arms while folded over in downward dog. Just that small change gave me so much more strength. Such a tiny adjustment reminded me that I have so much more to use in my body. It’s like finding that $10 bill in that coat pocket you didn’t know you had misplaced. Wow! I am stronger than I thought. When I use that “new” muscle” or make that “new” adjustment, I can do so much more without getting tired or sore. I am using my resources. I am using the body God gave me to do more. I have more energy. I have more life.
Of course, Michaela, didn’t stop here. She reminded us over and over again to make that small adjustment. Then she challenged us to use that new found strength in other movements and asanas. She took us to new places and then challenged us again to see them with fresh eyes, always reminding us that we have this new strength, this new energy, this new resource. Sometimes I didn’t want to go where she was taking us, I may have found this new strength, but since I’d never used it before, it wasn’t that well developed. But it existed and if I wanted to learn to use it I had to try the new way to do a shoulder stand or the different way to do wheel.
During that new class, I learned that I have strength in my upper arms that I had never used. I learned that there is so much more to this body I have yet to discover. I learned that I have untapped resources that I walk around with every day. I learned one more time to use my resources.