• to bounce back
  • recovering readily from adversity
  • able to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens

I’ve been studying yoga therapy for 3 years now.   Lately I’ve been studying how yoga can help with Traumatic Brain Injuries.  In doing so, I am asked to think about the difference between resilience and recovery.   It sparked me to write a post for my students at the studio, but as I did, it also sparked me to share this with you because it’s true of yoga AND it’s true of the culture we have at Uncommon.

Recovery has a implication that we return to normal or where we were before.  Resilience, on the other hand, is more elastic.  It’s more forward moving implying we learn and grow.  Resilience means we recover but from a stronger place, knowing we are changed on some level and won’t ever be able to return back to where we were before.

Each moment, we are all changing.  No matter what we face, we will never be back exactly where and how we were before.  We can, however, be resilient.  We can bounce back, growing, and becoming stronger from any adversity we face.

Resilience: The Science of Mastering Life’s Greatest Challenges by Southwick and Charney describes a pathway of learning resiliency.  They discuss a path with 8 steps:

  1. realistic optimism
  2. facing fears
  3. social support
  4. religion & spirituality
  5. accepts what cannot change
  6. physical and brain fitness
  7. cognitive and emotional flexibility
  8. meaning & purpose

What caught my attention the most is that each of these steps is present in a yoga class.  They may show up in different forms, with different meanings and translations for each of us, but they are there.  Yoga teaches us to come to our mat, connect with gratitude, presence and optimism.  It teaches us to face our fears, connect with something bigger than just ourselves and our ego, a community and religion or spirituality for some.  It teaches us to be present with the truth, accepting what is.  It challenges us physically and mentally.  It works with our cognitive and emotional abilities and it helps us to find a bigger meaning and purpose in life than our ego.

My intention for you in each yoga class you take with me is to become more resilient, more loving, more flexible, stronger, more calm, and more open.  Take a moment to appreciate what you learn at Uncommon and how it translates over into your life on a deeper level.  Come to yoga if your schedule allows.  Are they helping you to become more resilient?  If not, I challenge you to make a conscious effort to allow them to.


author: Jacqueline Allen


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