Happy June! As we head towards the heart of summer, my focus is to balance effort with ease (sthira/sukha). The goal of every yoga posture (or asana) is to embody these qualities at the same time. Of course this applies to the body but it also applies to the breath and to our state of mind. Too much effort in any of these areas can lead to rigidness and too much ease can lead to complacency. Just as with anything…it is all about finding balance.
I have noticed that I tend to apply more effort than I do ease in almost everything I do which leads me to feel that I need to do more faster and also leads me to feel exhausted and overwhelmed. With too much effort, it is easy to lose a sense of play and lightness, forgetting that life is meant to be enjoyed. Personally, my work is to apply more ease. When I get on the mat I have to remind myself to soften, to do less, move slower, and back off to about 70%. With this as my focus, my breath deepens, my mind settles and I drop more deeply into the moment.
Although there is nothing wrong with working hard, yoga is about finding balance so if we tend to work hard in everyday life, our practice should be in the opposite direction so that we don’t get into the habit of just one way of being and doing which can eventually lead to imbalances in all other areas of life.
For others, they need to do the opposite. They actually need to apply more effort, pay more attention, engage more. If you tend to be slow to get moving, have a hard time completing projects or don’t feel you have enough energy, perhaps you need to apply more effort in your practice.
We are all so very different and our yoga practice should be different as well. The next time you find yourself on the mat, perhaps check in with how much effort you applied during the day to determine what would be the best way to approach your practice so that it can create a state of balance to take back with you into your everyday life and responsibilities.
Our yoga should help us to manage our many roles and goals in a way that creates more health, more happiness and more energy in our lives. If your practice doesn’t do this then maybe take a step back and see if you can fine tune it to meet your ever changing needs. If your practice does do this, then keep at it!
We have so many great workshops and classes coming up over the summer to support you in whatever ways we can, so please check it all out here.
I look forward to seeing you around the studio in just a few weeks!
With infinite love and gratitude…