Power. The word that I stuck my tongue out at for so many years. It’s not that I have something against it, I think that I have been more scared of it than anything.
I was brought up by a mother who told me often, “don’t ever depend on anyone, you are a woman, and there is strength in that”. She passed this down to every cell of my being, and she also passed down her own personal fears of power. Every time I would go to jump or swing on anything, the same phrases always followed: “you will fall, you will break something, you are just going to hurt yourself.” And so I became a strong woman on the inside who was locked in a cage, inside a body that didn’t trust itself on the outside.
A few years later, I would look down to see my long clumsy feet standing side by side on my yoga mat. We didn’t have a clue what we were in for. All those years of sacrificing my personal power for the “what if's” finally had met their match…. stillness and breath. Day after day, year after year I would find myself once again standing tall as a mountain, and what had transpired…. this timid little girl had transformed, and found her tiger warrior self. It wasn’t easy, but it happened.
All the ways that I used to use my power started to shift, from the selfish to the selfless. My ability to manipulate and control started to fade away. My poor boundaries and addiction to giving away my power started to slowly erode. Like an old castle crumbling to pieces, this new pristine palace of power was revealed.
This place was ruled by a queen, one who breathed deeply into her belly. She stood up for what she believed in, shining brightly as the sun. Her warmth stoked the fires in others, calling all to stand brilliantly in our very own place of power. Balancing the ego, this strength became one that served us collectively, the heat of our one breath burning off what no longer serves.
Sometimes I look down and see my feet somewhere different; they jump on rocks, climb trees, run as fast as they can. I trust them now. I trust my whole being, my entire life, the infinite spaciousness of the universe. No matter how challenging life gets, it’s not scary anymore. I take a deep breath and jump, and if I fall, I fall. The best part is knowing that I can always get back up and try again. Yoga taught me that.
To those who have yet to experience yoga, it looks like a bunch of fancy moves and for some fancy reason, you have to be on a plastic rectangle to do it. But to the ones who know, I bow to the inner landscapes and oceans, where we have all fought who we were told to be. We have battled unworthiness and self-hatred until we tired of fighting and came to the still peace of acceptance; the victory of our gleaming hearts singing out, echoing off of every inch of our inner realms. To know that you have taken back your personal power and are standing strong in it is a very beautiful feeling.
Whether I am in a yoga class, hiking alongside waterfalls and rivers, or gathering bananas in my jungle backyard, my yellow warrior breathes deep. When you find out who you really are, and how powerful you are both inside and out, life becomes joyous and full.