There was a time in my life when I was going through a very hard time personally, and I needed strength... a lot of strength. Not necessarily physical strength, but the strength to endure emotional stress and push on without giving up. At this time I started practicing a vigorous and challenging style of yoga. I also kicked up my cycling and pushed myself on the bike harder than I ever had. I pushed myself physically, and as a result I became physically very strong. And I noticed that the stronger I was on my yoga mat and on my bike, the stronger I became in my life. My physical strength gave me emotional strength. In the end I had the inner strength I needed to believe in myself and to get through a very tough time.
Before then I thought I understood the concept of taking my practice "off the mat" and bringing yoga into my daily life, but it wasn't until I put that concept fully into practice in my own life that I realized what an amazing gift yoga really is. It is truly a metaphor for life. Over the years I have learned that this yoga metaphor not only applies to strength, but also to balance, and flexibility, and release, and probably 1,000 other things.
For example, in my practice there are days when balance poses come easy and I feel like I could hold them unwavering almost indefinitely. Then there are days when balance is more of an act of not falling, and not always a successful. Now when I experience balance issues on the mat I think about what is going on in my life outside of the yoga room. I have realized that when I am "out of balance" in some aspect of my life, it throws me off balance on my mat. The best part is that no matter what the issue is (balance, strength, flexibility, etc.) I know that working on one side of that equation (on the mat, or in my life) always helps the other.
Using dōTerra oils to enhance my practice is always a good move. The Yoga Collection with three amazing oil blends helps me work through whatever issue I have on or off the mat. Achor - to work on grounding and strength, Align - when I need to trust myself and be flexible, and Arise - for balance, stability and freedom.