Effort and Ease – Just Right

3 bears goldielocks

I don’t mean to put Goldilocks on blast, but you have to admit that she is pretty bold.  I understand completely being hungry, needing to get off my feet, and wanting to rest, but eating from the only three bowls of porridge on the table tells me a lot about Ms. Locks.  She truly understands what is meant by effort and ease in yoga.  I’m positive, this is what she was thinking, when she said, “this is just right”.  She was honoring what she needed at the time.

To find that honesty of what we need, takes time.  Usually a newbie to the mat, their practice is all physical, and by the time they reach savasana (corpse or resting pose), they are grateful to be able to relax.  They’ve got two systems working at the same time.  When our physical practice also connects with the mind, those two separate systems start to disappear, we begin to integrate listen to our body, increasingly understand that our practice is not just physical, but a give and take of effort (sthira) and ease (sukham), advancing and relaxation, strengthening and releasing, holding and letting go.  We go from the entire body being engaged, to letting our shoulders soften, tension of the mind subsiding, hands spread when splayed on the ground.  We meet ourselves where we are on that day, instead of fighting for how far we feel we should be, or competing with how far we were able to go the day before.  It is a silent dance of balancing of the subtle mind, and the physical body that is understood only with practice.

All work and no rest, makes us exhausted.  The development of effort and ease allows us to find balance on and off our mat.  It is not about meeting a goal, but accepting where we are, and allowing our true self to be accepted as we are in the moment by pushing where we can physically, and mentally, until we reach that place of not to much, but “just right”.




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