3 Steps for Creating an Effortless Yoga Practice
We all strive to perform each asana in our yoga practice successfully. It can be a lot of fun and very exhilarating when we nail it, like when I started to practice tripod headstand (story and video at the end)! But, sometimes we strive too hard where the amount of effort can become hurtful whether it be physical or emotional. Today we are discussing 3 steps for creating an effortless yoga practice in order to experience more harmony, peace, and love on and off the mat.
Recently, my eyes have been opening to the fact that, more often than not, I am in a place of force on the mat and off the mat. If I am forcing something, it certainly is not effortless. Instead, it is striving or trying too hard. And it seems that my cue lies in my jaw because lately, I I've been holding tension in my jaw as I try hard, as I try to force myself either into an asana that I’m not ready for or strain too hard to perform or perfect it.
Force is the opposite of effortlessness.
There is a fine line between pushing your edge from a place of growth and being in a place of force due to perfectionism, which is nothing more than ego.
When I think about an asana being effortless … experiencing harmony with my body, breath, and awareness ... I immediately think about the success I’ve had with headstands. Oh, I have forced headstands especially in the beginning, but now I often experience them in this effortless way where it all comes together in beautiful harmony while it feels like I’m floating and time is standing still. It’s an amazing experience. And in that amazing experience I am connected and often receive revelation and/or a changed mindset. Or, I simply experience joy and peace.
So, how do we approach our yoga practice with the aim being effortlessness? Below are 3 steps from “Meditations from the Mat” that I have found helpful …
Note your tendency to try too hard.
Note your impulse to push past the point in which harmony is possible.
Note what is keeping you from backing off and simply holding the posture at a point in which integrated experience is possible.
The key to creating an effortless yoga practice is awareness. There is much to learn about ourselves by putting the above 3 steps into practice. This kind of awareness will, for sure, help us not only in our yoga practice, but also in our day to day lives.
The video below is from when I had just learned tripod headstands. I was shocked that I could actually perform this asana because I didn't think that I had enough core strength. It was one of those times when everything felt right ... there was no forcing, I was very present and connected and my body just did its thing. Yes, I felt the harmony, the joy, and a sense of awe around this whole yoga experience.
I would love to hear a time when your yoga practice felt effortless. Could you take a minute and share your story in the comment section? It would be really awesome! :)