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Not One Without the Other

When I teach yoga, I often cue Warrior 1 pose. As all poses, it is not about the pose itself, but the feelings that the pose creates. Warrior 1 is a foundational pose of personal strength. Think of a power pose with your arms at your hips (wonder woman) or straight above, with your strong gaze facing forward, your heart open and a split stance with your back leg activated and holding you in place and your front knee gently bent over your front ankle. Embodying the feeling of a strong warrior, in today's world, is how I think of it.

What does that mean to be a strong warrior in 2024? It means that you show up for yourself. You show up for your people. You show up for your community. You show up for your causes.

That's a lot of big energy. We call it yang energy in yoga. Like the sun. It is strong, and it makes you get up, get out, get going. There is no hiding.

But just focusing on that kind of big energy is only half of what I cue with Warrior 1. I also cue Humble Warrior, which is the complement to that big energy. It is literally a bow down, with an open heart, to the earth, pouring your authentic apology out of you and saying you are sorry. It is not one of those fake apologies--"I'm sorry you feel that way." That's meaningless and practically insincere, and it doesn't even matter anyway. Humble Warrior is heart-felt and true.

I am thinking a lot about the energy of these two poses. I've spent a lot of my life being strong, and it is in my recent years (I'm 58!) when I have come to appreciate the "kissing cousin" of strength--humility. There is no true strength in simply being strong without the whisper of kindness that comes with being humble. I've been humbled a lot recently. It has been so painful. It is like a knife going right up my spine that says--you think you are so strong--I can and will break you. This has forced me to look at events in my life and how I've been showing up, and how wrong I was. I am truly sorry. I am heart-felt apologizing to the universe for any and all wrongdoings that came from me and my hard edges.

All this to say that we are never done doing the work it takes to be a perfectly imperfect human being on this planet earth. We are never going to be done. There is always something new to learn, new to think, new to feel, new to do. I am reporting for duty yet again, as humbled as I can be first, and with my personal strength coming in second.

I am always cheering you on.

xo Coach Karen :))

PS Go to my YouTube channel for more yoga and qi gong moves. It's all there!

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