My mother had big news to share with me last week. She sat across from me at the dinner table and announced, “I learned to be a warrior.” As confused as anyone would be with their mother’s proclamation of warrior status, I quickly realized a few questions were necessary for clarification.
“What are you talking about?” I questioned in my usual no-nonsense manner.
She explained further. “A warrior. I learned how to be a warrior. You know, in that thing you do. I am a warrior.”
“In yoga? You learned warrior pose?” I asked.
“Yes, that is what I said. I am a warrior.”
She said it with such resolve and delight that all I could do was smile (and laugh to myself) and express my delight in her achievement. But I had one more question.
“How did it make you feel?” I asked. Without any hesitation she said, “Strong.” Her proclamation of strength stirred up a question I go back to again and again when interpreting my own wellness goals, as well as one I encourage my own clients to define: What does strength mean to you?
Certainly, we all want to feel strong. It’s an empowering and liberating feeling. But what is strength? The standard definitions include descriptions of physical and mental strength, but I have to question if strength is universal or if it is a personal perception of health determined by our own goals. Bodybuilders may determine strength by the amount of weight they can lift, while others define their strength by the ability to navigate a business dilemma swiftly and effectively. Can “degree” of strength be measured by a more standard test, like a medical physical of sorts?
For me, strength is something that continually evolves as I work to better myself—step by step—across all the Yoffie Life pillars of wellness. Strength can be defined as the ability to do, feel, and think more effectively. And this doing, feeling, and thinking is based on and supported by the overall health of individual body systems and how those systems work together. For any of us, to sustain optimal health in all systems requires a focus on the body as a whole, and thus, all the YL wellness pillars.
This week’s challenges focus on strength from all angles. Naturopath and Spark Expert Carine explains how boosting your immune system through food, exercise, and rest may be your best defense in keeping your body strong this winter and, more specifically, in avoiding this year’s flu strain. Sweat Expert Laura shares a movement routine to strengthen your body systems and, more specifically, your immune, cardiovascular, and lymphatic systems and environment; and Simplify Expert Lisa explains how eating local, in-season foods strengthens not only your body but also the environment. Become your own warrior today by building on the strengths that empower you!