Courage can be hard to come by, at least for me. Though I know I have it, it can seem fleeting when I need it most. And, it's for that reason that I was excited to see a 27-minute flow to foster courage on Adriene Mishler's YouTube channel.
The video starts with some neck work which, after a long day, felt extra wonderful. Then, there's a few Cat Cows to get the spine loose and activate the core. The flow is full of high lunges, and it challenges you to stay grounded with transitions from Warrior One into Warrior Two and Peaceful Warrior.
Besides getting a great stretch in the back of the legs from the Forward Folds and Downward Dogs, this flow targets the abs with planks — during which you are encouraged to declare quietly "I am strong," one of my favourite recurring lines Mishler uses often — plank toe taps, and a variation of plank hip dips to work the obliques.
For me, the most overt moments of courage came from doing Warrior Three with aeroplane arms like we were flying and a quad-heavy pose I'd never done before: Twisted Chair. The flow concluded with some tension-releasing Lion's Breaths where we had the the tongue out long and the mouth wide open, Child's Pose, and Savasana.
The challenges that the video brought humbled me into being patient with myself and helped me hone my courage amid some of the more difficult poses. Mishler ends on an empowering note. "Remember: just the mere act of showing up can be so incredibly grand, so beneficial, putting us in a position physically, mentally, emotionally, and energetically to be brave, to be confident," she says. "And when we feel that courage, it's incredible what all we can do, what all we can share, how we can serve."