Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Close Banner
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

How To Get Truly Strong (Without Setting Foot In A Gym)

Michael Taylor
Author:
September 10, 2013
Michael Taylor
Co-Founder Of Strala Yoga
By Michael Taylor
Co-Founder Of Strala Yoga
Mike Taylor is the co-founder of Strala Yoga.
September 10, 2013

We all know about transactional relationships, whether we've called them by that name or not. They're relationships in which the object, or the joy, does not come from the relationship itself; it's a separate goal that's important. Money. Safety. Another possession to show off. Even when the goal is achieved, it's not quite the same, is it? Is a walk on the street the same? Is sex the same?

We all know the ideal relationship, too. It's you that's important. It's me. I'm not your goal. You're not mine. We're here sharing a walk through this whole thing, everything I am, everything you are. We're not aiming for the end of this walk. We don't want this walk to end.

If you have something good, prepare for the walk of your lifetime. If you have something transactional — and those transactions don't add up — prepare to get dumped.

Yoga is neat because you see everything about you in your yoga. It's even neater because you can create everything about you in your yoga. To work with it, you just need to feel it.

I see a lot of people in yoga become very concerned with the goals. I want that pose. Show me how to get that handstand! And now the flying pelican, the whirling lizard, or the elusive whooping canary!

When the goals are elusive, like the canary, people turn to a second set of goals. I must be stronger. More flexible. I must be bigger or smaller, longer arms or shorter legs!

All these aims. It sounds like what you have is a transactional relationship with your body. Uh oh.

Luckily, your body is patient with you. It's waiting for you to figure this one out.

People think I can do what I do in yoga because I'm strong. A long while ago, people thought the same when I was in martial arts competitions. I always tell them I'm very weak and very lazy! In a way both are true. Maybe the best thing to say is that I have a good relationship with my body.

No part of my body is working against any other part. And I'm not aiming for the goals. So whatever I do, even something hard, doesn't require much effort.

For more than 30 years, I've been moving and feeling. Moving everything I've got in every direction I can move, and getting good at working with what I have. The goals are there, but they're not what I work on. They happen. I keep moving.

In the gym, you lift weights to get strong. You're interested in the goal. But I've seen people who are very strong in this way, who can't move very well in their athletic efforts. I've seen people who are far less strong, who move with great strength and skill.

The gym is fine. But if you want to get really strong, quit the gym. Stop taking an interest in the goals. The weight you lift, the repetitions. Instead, take a strong interest in everything.

If you do things with struggle and force, you won't feel. Your body will do its best to keep you from hurting yourself, and will assume you don't care much about how anything feels. So that line of communication will be on mute. You won't learn anything.

When no part of your body is working against any other part, you can move very easily. This makes you extremely strong.

You don't get there by lifting a weight. You don't get there by exercising.

You get there by feeling. Move easily. Everything you've got, in every direction you can.

If you do things easily, and take an interest in all of you, your body will assume you care! Lines of communication flourish. You'll move not by force, but by knowing. Whatever you can imagine, you'll be able to do.

Make a good relationship with your body, and you become very strong. Your body won't dump you! You'll be able to do a whole lot in your life. You'll also be very happy.

Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor

Mike Taylor is the co-founder of Strala Yoga, along with his wife, Tara Stiles. He studied mind-body medicine at Harvard University and complementary medicine at the University of Oxford. Taylor has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qigong, for more than 30 years.

Read More About Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor
Michael Taylor

Mike Taylor is the co-founder of Strala Yoga, along with his wife, Tara Stiles. He studied mind-body medicine at Harvard University and complementary medicine at the University of Oxford. Taylor has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qigong, for more than 30 years.

Read More About Michael Taylor

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

Watch Next

Enjoy some of our favorite clips from classes

What Is Meditation?

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Light Watkins

Box Breathing

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

What Breathwork Can Address

Mindfulness/Spirituality | Gwen Dittmar

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

Yoga | Caley Alyssa

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

Nutrition | Rich Roll

What to Eat Before a Workout

Nutrition | Rich Roll

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Nutrition | Sahara Rose

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Love Languages

Love & Relationships | Esther Perel

Related Videos (10)

What Is Meditation?

Box Breathing

What Breathwork Can Address

The 8 Limbs of Yoga - What is Asana?

Two Standing Postures to Open Up Tight Hips

How Plants Can Optimize Athletic Performance

What to Eat Before a Workout

How Ayurveda Helps Us Navigate Modern Life

Messages About Love & Relationships

Love Languages

Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

More On This Topic

more Mindfulness
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Advertisement
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.