Thursday, January 22, 2009

Core Strength

I recently experienced a new yoga instructor. I considered not attending the Friday noon thirty class any longer, as I really enjoyed the former teacher's style. He could be tough, and he had a wicked sense of humor. But I had two sessions left on my class card. So I attended her class. Her style was vastly different than what I expected. She was a little tough. A little gentle. Encouraging. And delivered one hell of a workout.

She emphasizes core strength. Several days after class I got to thinking about her emphasis on core strength. While I work out almost daily, and do core work, I don't concentrate on my belly and back. Arms, shoulders, chest and legs are easier to work, more obvious targets and visible results.

It occurred to me that just as there is bodily core strength, there is also personal core strength. That part of your person-hood that forms your core, your sense of identity and boundaries. And all the other forms of strength—the external, easy obvious signs of strength. A bad-ass attitude. A knack of taking on too much. The warped notion that I can fix things or people. That is not real strength. That is is not a strong core. That is strong legs, strong arms, shoulders and back. But one swift punch to the gut, and I would fold in. Too soft.

This needs thought. This needs work. Maybe I can work the body and spirit together.