Monday, January 3, 2011

A Balance Between Effort and Ease

Back to work and to "regular" non-vacation life...but at least for a bit, I'm rested and ready to be here. I had nice, long, relaxed practices over the last week. I also had lots of nice quiet time at home with my husband and dog. I was reminded once again that home is actually my favorite place to be on vacation.

I come from a long line of people obsessed with "staying busy". It's taken some time for me to learn to sit quietly without guilt or anxiety. My husband has been a great teacher here. He has, as long as I've known him, refused to be rushed about anything.

Earlier on in my practice life, I think I considered asana practice itself part of the "stuff to do", an item on the daily list. Lately though, it's been quieter. It's more a source of energy than a drain on it. In some ways I think this is a physical product of just doing the practice. The body is quieter with less complaints and more ease. Muscles have stretched and strengthened allowing the breath to move more smoothly and leaving me with energy instead of lethargy or anxiety. Now that the body is quieter more of the time, I'm more apt to catch the mental chatter before I get drawn so far in that I completely lose awareness.

My work for 2011 and beyond: sthira and sukham in life
keep looking for the quiet, steadiness and ease within all the "busy"ness and activity of life


  1. "It's more a source of energy than a drain on it."

    Here's to practice that gives more energy than it takes. Ideally, even from the start, perhaps it could always be like that. Ideally... :-)

  2. Yes, ideally an energy source from the beginning. Like many, I think I did too much at the beginning. I started in a big mixed styles studio with led classes and I was flexy. I could make the shapes, but there was nothing underneath the shapes. :)

    ...lots of gratitude for the later Mysore teachers who taught me to breathe!

  3. It's taken me awhile to start learning how to breathe . . . and it's wonderful when it happens, such peace, such energy! however fleeting at this point in my young practice. Thanks C&J for the encouragement and patience :)

  4. Thanks for dropping in Bob!

    Yes, definitely worth the struggle to learn to breathe while working the poses. That really is at the heart of the practice. If you can learn to breathe with ease while in a challenging physical posture, while balancing or twisting for example, then you can also learn to breathe with ease in "real life" when things get challenging. The technique is the same. :)