Inner Strength

By Emma Churchill

Inner Strength

By Emma Churchill

In The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali if we look at sutra 1.20 

shraddha-virya-smrti-samadhi-prajna-purvakah itaresham

For those of us who were not born into states of higher consciousness or knowing, we must cultivate self-confidence and conviction to help us maintain our persistence and strength, and to remember our direction so that we may attain our goal of a focused mind and clear perception.

Often translated as “faith,” shraddha is more appropriately translated as “self-esteem,” “personal conviction,” “self-confidence,” or “determination.” If you are consciously making an effort to achieve greater clarity (itaresham), your conviction (shraddha) will be followed by the strength and persistence (virya) to remember your direction (smrti) and to reach your goal of total and clear understanding (samadhi-prajna). (

What is inner strength? It’s a quality / skill we all possess. It’s necessary for carrying out tasks, chores and decisions. It’s the power one has to face difficult situations; to give their all to achieving their goals; to fight injustices and prejudices. It’s the perceived strength one has to overcome life’s challenges.

Some of us possess a wealth of inner strength, while others are lacking. Some days we have more and some days less. Currently, living in the third lockdown of this Covid world, it has become apparent to me just how strong many of us have been. Yes, there have been days when we haven’t been inclined to do much and perhaps have a lazy day, wallow in self-pity and feel a sense of loss and grief at all the things we miss. And that’s okay and probably necessary. But let’s not forget, we do have to get out of bed, get ourselves ready and carry out all the necessary daily tasks. We’ve navigated jobs, sometimes from home, we’ve home-schooled, we’ve checked in on our neighbours and we have found ways to communicate with our loved ones online. Many of us have celebrated birthdays in lockdown and been astonished at how lovely the day has been. We’ve found joy in the simple things and that should be recognised, just as we have found a strength within to keep going. This shows courage, resilience and great resolve.

It is possible to cultivate inner strength? Meditation, mindfulness, observing emotions, responding instead of reacting, bringing compassion are all ways that will help to further develop our inner fortitude. During the month of February, I am going to run a FREE breath-led meditation practice. This will involve an initial settling in practice where we will then move to a focus on breathing and conclude with a few minutes of silence. I will be conducting this live through my Instagram feed follow me on Yoga and Pilates with Emma or through Zoom (email me for details). I am also teaching Yoga, Pilates and HITT online, all great ways at keeping you fit and well – both physically and mentally.

Read on to learn about successful people that have developed great inner strength despite adversity.

Steven Spielberg was rejected twice by the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts. His cinematic output has grossed more than $9 billion and brought him three Academy Awards, the university have since named a building in his honour.

Oprah Winfrey was fired from her first TV job as an anchor in Baltimore. She is now a Billionaire with her own TV channel.

After his first performance at the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley was told

“You ain’t goin’ nowhere, son. You ought to go back to drivin’ a truck.” And was promptly fired.  Presley went on to become the world’s biggest star with a legacy that endures.

These people have overcome difficulties and showed great resilience, tenacity, persistence and an indominable inner strength to keep going despite these setbacks.

FREE Yoga or Pilates Lessons!

Sign up today to receive a FREE week of zoom classes and also get the latest news and updates!

You have successfully subscribed! Check your inbox for information about your FREE lesson