Back in Australia I go to a yoga school (Power Living in Bondi Junction) and there’s a wonderful teacher there (Jason) who shares (during his class) that yoga is like life (excuse the woo-woo launch to this…it improves). You start off in child’s position and you end in corpse pose. And in between is the opportunity to….
practice finding the ease amidst the strain.
Bam. Wisdom, right there.
In yoga, each pose is about using strength, while at the same time giving in, allowing. It’s strong, but gentle, all at once. This is what we practice. When it’s all strain and grunt, it doesn’t work. You never quite get to that oozie stage where you can glide into poses effortlessly.
And, yes, it’s a practice. In yoga we practice for real life.
Meditation is the same. We practice finding that delicate nexus where we can put in effort and care and strive and push, but do it in a way that’s joyful and soft and gentle and flowing. It’s in that delicate juncture between hard and soft, effort and acquiesce, force and release – in that weightless space – that we find the kind of peace that can really get us through life. When I hit it, that nexus, my spine disappears. I become light and happy. The more I steer myself to this delicate point, the more I can emulate it in real life, such that I can run two businesses, write two books (simultaneously) and find ease in it. No rubbing or jarring. No grit and grind. It comes in little “washes”. Some days I can find it. Others I have to go back to consciously practicing again. Same with yoga.
I’ve done yoga for 21 years now and it’s all been one big, long, sweaty practice.