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My Teaching Schedule: No public classes at this time, sorry.

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Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Art of Effort and Surrender

I over effort. No surprise to those who know me or any of my yoga teachers. In yoga, we try to find that delicate balance between efforting in a pose and finding that point of relaxation. At times, it feels as if I'm balancing on the head of a pin, it's such a small window to discover. And yet, while furiously trying to balance in Pincha Mayurasana (my Achilles heel pose), if I take a deep breath and open my heart, I feel my body start to melt and release some muscular energy. Effortless effort, is what one of my teachers calls it. It enables us to enjoy and go deeper, allowing for that opening and release we yogis look for in each asana (pose).

What we learn on the mat, we take off the mat and into our everyday lives. This is a well-known mantra in yoga. Sometimes, we work too hard at something, afraid to soften the grip, fearing we will lose whatever it is we think we have a hold of. But the truth is, through surrender and stepping back is where we gain freedom and power. Difficult concept to process, but a good analogy would be skydiving. One has to trust the shoot will open to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. (Brian swears he's doing this on his 50th birthday. As long as his life insurance is paid up.)
Knowing when to surrender and not over effort is surely an art form that enfolds and unfolds infinitely throughout our lifetime. It's part of the yin yang, the constant flow of life.