“You should use every opportunity to build strength,” Marsha says to me. It was probably more of a reprimand now that I think of it. She caught me being lazy in a pose. She has this way of discipling you in the sweetest way as her feet patter off to help another student.
It resonated, and I continue to repeat it in my head. This casual comment has become a fundamental precept for me.
Stoic maxims have made all the difference in my life. “Some things are in our control and others not.” – Epictetus
I now have a new one. “Use every opportunity to build strength” – Marsha Mcknight
Many things are out of my control; taking every opportunity to build strength is in my control.
During my practice I am repeatedly faced with a decision. Do I attempt to jump back or jump through? Or skip this vinyasa? I think I can’t do it. But I can. I can lift up then crawl through. That’s better than skipping. I can’t lift up anymore, but I can press into the ground and transition.
Why am I not trying to straighten my leg and lift it as high as I can? Or activating my quads and pressing into my hands? Choose to build strength, Butler. It does not have to be perfect; the strength is built in the trying.
Each repetition of this decision makes me stronger.
The second to last asana is Utplutih. You lift yourself and hold for 100 breaths. By this point I am exhausted, but it is one of my greatest opportunities to build strength. If you can’t lift for 100 breaths, lift for 10. If you can’t lift completely, use your feet to help levitate. If you can’t lift at all, press the ground with your hands and raise your knees.
Build the strength you need.
Recently, a relationship ended with an amazing person. An ending like this always leaves one with questions, questions probably best left unanswered even if they could be. Previously I would have beat myself up wondering what I did wrong or how I could be different. I now see it as an opportunity to build strength in myself. I am strengthening my resolve that I am happy with who I am and who I am becoming. I am strong on my own.