Participation often occurs upon the strength of our convictions, the tenets (yamas) and precepts (niyamas). When Centering, stand (tadasana), notice the strength and energy of the feet, pelvic floors/perineum, core, hands and neck. Feel muscles, tendons and ligaments throughout the body drawing bones into a cohesive whole. Notice breath (vyana pranayama), withdraw (pratyahara) from distractions, focus (dharana) upon yama, niyama, asana, pranayama through pratyahara in an enduring focus known as meditation (dhyana) while perfecting practices (ashtanga) of awareness (samadhi)!
Dictionary.com defines strength as:
- The quality or state of being strong; bodily or muscular power; vigor.
- Mental power, force, or vigor.
- Moral power, firmness, or courage.
- Power by reason of influence, authority, resources, numbers, etc.
- Number, as of personnel or ships in a force or body:
A regiment with a strength of 3000.
- Effective force, potency, or cogency, as of inducements or arguments:
The strength of his plea.
- Power of resisting force, strain, wear, etc.
- Vigor of action, language, feeling, etc.
- The effective or essential properties characteristic of a beverage, chemical, or the like:
The alcoholic strength of brandy far exceeds wine
- A particular proportion or concentration of these properties; intensity, as of light, color, sound, flavor, or odor:
Coffee of normal strength
- Something or someone that gives one strength or is a source of power or encouragements, sustenance:
The Bible was her strength and joy.
- Power to rise or remain firm in prices:
Stocks continued to show strength. The pound declined in strength.
The above definitions can be placed in holistic categories. The categories classifications or protections include, responsibilities values principles of a healthy physical body, powerful emotional energy, wealthy mature mind, wise intelligent intellect and happy blissful spirit. Most people have heard of body/mind or body/mind/spirit practices while approaching from a Yoga Therapists perspective Classical practices include principles of body, energy, mind, intellect and spirit!
Practicing during Strength Sessions the precept of discipline (tapas) applies. According to Deborah Adele, author of The Yamas & Niyamas, “It is our determined effort to become someone of character and strength.” Holding positions (asanas) of strength is character building, forming us into svelte images; ‘our bodies are our temples’!
Prana, ‘energy in from the environment’ breaths help resist strain and wear. Relaxing (pratyahara) into strength is a surrendered determination which is comforting during long isometric holds. Focused attraction (dharana), often at the sight of muscular improvements may help in staying attentive (dhyana) during strength poses or thinking about the benefits of being strong, like helping with tasks. A Oneness or Holistic strength of being able is felt through to the bones with a density that lives on (see Yoga Lift); om namah shivaya!