I had an interesting revelation last week in the middle of a yoga class.
If you’re not familiar, at the beginning of most yoga classes the instructor will often encourage everyone to set an intention for the class. To be honest, I never really understand what this means, but I’m a team player so I go with it. The method to my madness is quite simple —embrace the first word that comes to mind when instructed to set an intention.
More often than not, the word that presents itself first is “peace,” because regardless of how frequently or infrequently I’m able to achieve inner peace, it’s my ultimate goal in life — and therefore always top of mind.
Last week, however, the word that first popped into my (sometimes manic) mind was “strength.” OK. Let’s go with it.
Weakened by a busy few days of errands, meetings, back-to-school nights and other motherhood mayhem, I suppose I was ready to feel strong again — by holding some of my yoga poses longer, trying more adventurous moves or making it through all the ab-strengthening exercises without giving up (for once).
My mantra of strength worked well for the first half of the class. It inspired me to be and do more and allowed me to appreciate my physical strength.
But then something changed.
The more I pushed myself, the more tired I became. Funny how that works (note to self). My legs, arms and already weak abs suddenly felt just as tired as my manic mind. This hardly seemed like the end goal I was working toward.
In my effort to feel stronger, I was making myself weaker.