Effort and Ease

Most things in yoga come down to a balancing act of finding the right amount of effort and the right amount of letting go. Too much effort and we find we’re full of tension, straining to try and achieve something we’re not necessarily ready for (possibly risking injury by over ambition); too much ease and we don’t find our edge, we lose our potential for growth by staying in our safe zone. The same is true of life. Too much effort can cause us to feel rushed, over stimulated, anxious, storing up tension in our bodies ready for the inevitable burnout. Too much ease means we don’t make the most of life, don’t try, don’t realise out full potential, don’t stretch ourselves to grow and be the best version of ourselves we can be.

So next time you’re on the mat, ask yourself: What effort do I need to make in this posture? What could I let go of? Investigate what is required to make the pose strong, stable, comfortable, focussed. Then investigate what other effort you are making that isn’t necessary. Notice the calming and clarity of mind that comes when you let go of what you don’t need.

Similarly apply this process to life: What effort do I need to be making to move things forward? How could I be more proactive? What could I be doing to best serve myself and others? Balancing this with: What can I let go of? What am I holding on to that no longer serves me? What ideas, viewpoints and stories are holding me back? Where can I create some space – physical, mental or emotional?

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