Knowing How to Yield is Strength

“Water is fluid, soft, and yielding. But water will wear away rock, which is rigid and cannot yield. As a rule, whatever is fluid, soft, and yielding will overcome whatever is rigid and hard. This is another paradox: what is soft is strong… Knowing how to yield is strength.” -Lao Tzu

This past Saturday, I went out on a limb and attended my first hot vinyasa flow yoga class at Purple Yoga Studios. These days, I’m a naturally flexible person, but I wasn’t always this way. My mom can attest to the fact that in my younger years, I couldn’t even bend over past my knees. After hearing about hot yoga for years, I finally tried it out for myself! In the following days, I felt acutely aware of a soreness in my joints. Perhaps I was too hard on myself, and the stiffness was a result of not listening to my body and naturally going with the flow.

20130417-215618.jpgMy yoga experience reminded me of a quote by Lao Tzu, who philosophized that “knowing how to yield is strength.” Sometimes, we associate yielding with passivity, with weakness. Why then, would the act of yielding, or ceasing resistance, be correlated with strength? I thought to myself that maybe – just maybe – my life (and my yoga practice) would be a lot less floppy if I went with the flow, rather than against. To “let it be.” Maybe all I need to do is adopt an attitude of “resistance through non-resistance.” To be soft on the outside but gently and effectively corrosive on the inside and over time. To “bend and not break.” Maybe, during those trying days when it feels like nothing is going right, I simply need to be more adaptive and resilient. To yield a little.


PS. For a $29 for $20 Purple Yoga deal for our local OC yogis, email us at threeteaspoonsaday{at}gmail{dot}com for a reader referral!


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