Strong on the outside, strong on the inside

May 17, 2018

Level: Beginners to Level 1
Props: None required

One of my favourite questions to ask new students is what brings them to yoga?

I love hearing everyone’s answer and experience.

We all come from very different backgrounds, and with it very different stories. But regardless, I love how the practice becomes this unifying thing that ties us all in together.

Yoga has presented me with many benefits, and today I want to share with you one of the biggest changes it has presented me.


I am not a naturally strong person, inside and out. Growing up, my resilience stemmed from stubbornness, and fear. I hid behind a facade that may have fooled others including myself. But deep down, I had very little will and self-belief.

Entered yoga and through my own journey, I learned to be strong on the outside and – as the practice guided me very quietly – on the inside. Day after day, week after week, I showed up on my mat and over the months, I discovered strength I never knew I had.

Lots of adho mukha svanasa / downward facing dogs and chaturangas / plank pose will do that to you!

Through all the adho mukha svanasa / downward facing dogs and chaturangas / plank poses, I learned to faced my self-doubts, insecurities and the layers peeled off. I uncovered patterns in my life, and built up the strength to change them.

Which brings me to this week’s yoga sequence: A 30 minutes vinyasa-styled flow that will help you build upper body strength.

My hope for you is that the practice helps you build strength on the outside and slowly, inside.

This week’s practice

We will work through a lot of chaturangas and downward facing dogs in this practice. We’ll hold for 5 full breath counts to build heat in the body and upper body strength.

Very gently, we’ll start off slow and easy in child’s pose, bringing our awareness back to the breath while lengthening the posterior line (back side) of our bodies, before getting into the groove of the flow.

Listen to your body

I’m a huge advocate of modifying any poses that you feel or know your body is not up for on that day. There is a lot of intelligence in our bodies and as I tell my students in class, our bodies know more than our minds, so why discount it?

If your energy levels are on the lower end on the day of your practice, come to your knees for a modified chaturanga. This still works the target areas of our core and upper body.

If the 5 breath counts in downward facing dog a little too long, then I invite you to take 3 full breaths instead.

There is no right or wrong way to a yoga practice, and remember that this is your practice so honour your body by listening to it.

Happy practicing, yogi!


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