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Take a moment and think of what comes to mind when you see the word POWER.  

Try saying it aloud.  What do you associate with the word? 

If you have pen and paper handy, jot down a couple words that come up for you when you think of power.  If you’re like many of us, you probably came up with words like strength, fortitude, will, control.  Perhaps vulnerability, honesty or knowledge?

Did anyone come up with the word SURRENDER?  

As is often the case when I’m getting “into my body” through exercise or movement and get the heart pumping and tap into the rhythm of the breath, an idea will emerge that provides an opportunity for me to learn something or create some awareness around.  I was bicycling and paying attention to what my body was doing (along with the mechanics of the bike) to propel myself forward.  Because I’m an engineer, an alignment-based yoga practitioner, interested in exercise science and kind of a nerd (for the aforementioned reasons and others) I was curious about how efficient I was at this propulsion.  This movement of myself forward.  (You can see the metaphor here right?)

This is what I noticed: 

  • Because I’m a rather experienced cyclist and have not only read about pedaling best practices but learned from other riders, my pedal stroke and cadence is pretty efficient.
  • I’m pretty adept at changing gears and minimizing braking to keep my speed consistent and high (for my fitness level).
  • I know just enough to know when to exert more energy and when to rest to maximize recovery 
  • I am “over-gripping” the handlebars and my shoulders are hunched a good part of the time – I’M TIGHT!  
  • Being TIGHT inhibits flow.  Not only blood and air flow but energetic flow.
  • What I needed was more SURRENDER!  TO GAIN MORE POWER!  

Alright, let me geek out here for a minute.  

The formula for POWER is P = F x V   Power = Force x Velocity (speed) 

A definition in Wikipedia states…a force is an influence that can change the motion of an object (in this case, me).  A force can cause an object with mass (still, me…or you!) to change its velocity, i.e., to accelerate.  Lastly, Force can also be described intuitively as a push or a pull.  

All this to say, using FORCE to PUSH myself forward may amount to some greater level of power.  However, with a little less push and a bit more PULL through SURRENDER (and loosening the grip) will do the same and make for a more enjoyable ride.  

Here’s to more power AND a more enjoyable ride.  

May the (Power ÷ Velocity) Be With You All,   

2 Comments

  • Richard says:

    I loved what you said “Pull through surrender” I often have to remind myself to “let go”
    I enjoy the silent power of “just sitting”, passively connecting with the breath and awaiting the limitless and all-encompassing stillness as I am embraced sometimes by the “emptiness”.
    It seems there are more and more of us discovering, the power of “stillness”. It does of course require practice, but I now see it as an act of love and respect for the “self” I am coming to know in love and gratitude.

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