What does it mean to be in your power? How does it feel to be empowered? The word “power” has many meanings, and its often associated with control and force. Control implies the use of fear tactics and leaves little room for joy, empathy, and love. This paradigm creates conformity but kills creativity and intuition. So how do we shift it?
The choice to show up on our yoga mat everyday is an exercise in creating connection and explore areas in our bodies where we hold stress and tension. There is no separation between our body, mind, and spirit, so our bodies are receptacles of past experiences that when unresolved can hold our energy and our vitality hostage. We feel so good after a practice because our energy channels open but more importantly we open to a different way of seeing and experiencing our personal power.
The ability to develop our personal power is directly related to our willingness to be exposed and to be fully seen. The choice to move through a pose with grace and acceptance of our limitations rather than forcing our way through, strengthens the inner muscle of compassion. I remind my students and myself, personal power cannot be bought, sold, or bottled, it is developed through the courage to face our struggles. Much of our culture operates in judgement and projection because its easier to release our yucky feelings onto someone else. But it’s like a boomerang, it will always come back and smack us on the head.
How do we shift this cycle? We have to let go of any notion of perfection. Forget about the perfect pose, job, partner, and be willing to own and love our imperfections. Surrender into the idea that we are exactly where we need to be and fully embrace and love our body, our life, our experiences exactly as they are. Warts and all! Yes of course it’s challenging but these are the moments of growth, expansion, and this is how we cultivate our personal power.
To live fully in our personal power is one of the greatest ways to be of service. When I was in high school I was a choreographer for the big dance production we put on every year. I loved dance and was very passionate about getting other students involved. Not long ago I received a Facebook message from someone I went to high school with. She shared that she almost quit the production because she felt clumsy and worthless. She also shared that I encouraged her to not give up and dance because she loved it. She said that moment changed the direction of her life. She went on to be a dance major and is now teaching dance.
That moved me to tears and reminded me of why I teach yoga. Because I’m passionate about it, because when I’m living in my truth and in my personal power I’m living my purpose. When we embrace our personal power and allow ourselves to shine, we uplift the world and each other. When we seek to understand ourselves through our yoga practice we practice being more understanding of others. The paradigm of power then shifts from control and competition to that of connection, cooperation, and compassion. What world do you want to live in?
You can practice yoga with Mia Togo at YogaWorks or online with her online yoga classes with MyYogaWorks.
Mia Togo grew up in the small town of Murrieta, Ca. She was an avid equestrian and dancer, both of which helped pave the way to her love and devotion of yoga. It was in the practice of Vinyasa yoga that she began to feel her body as a temple for healing rather than struggle. She studied with many teachers, finding wisdom from different styles and philosophies. With much respect for all forms of yoga, her passion is Vinyasa. She has been a Yogaworks certified teacher and teacher trainer since 2004. She is also a mentor for the 300-hour program at Yogaworks. Mia teaches with an emphasis on detailed alignment so there is an intelligence and a purpose to her sequencing.