Learning to balance effort and result
There is a common saying that twenty percent of our actions yield eighty percent of our results but unfortunately it’s hard to figure out which twenty. I don’t think it’s impossible however.
Much of what we do gives us the feeling of being busy, a sensation many of us have become used to and even addicted to. We need this energy to give us the idea that we are working hard and important and even to block out other, more important, slower, bigger things in our life.
But working harder, more, and faster, does not necessarily mean working better. This is true in business and it is also true in yoga practice.
Enacting right effort is a skill that we can learn from daily practice. In each sun salutation or each yoga pose, ask yourself what is needed to retain the shape and structure and what can be removed. From there you can begin to relax the muscles which are engaged but not helping create the posture. You will be amazed how many jumped in unnecessarily.
You may also think of yourself as having a certain amount of energy for the week to give to your yoga practice. If you give it all on a Monday, you’ll be spent and unable to practice the rest of the week, but if you can ration it out, you will find you can take daily practice without strain. For anyone surviving trauma this is especially important as so much energy is being spent daily to keep survivors of trauma hypervigilant and protected from danger. We must not take more.
Marcy Tropin, a long time Yin and Restorative Yoga teacher and trauma survivor talks about the importance of regulating energy output in her podcast interview with me. She discusses the things we can do as teachers to equalize the room and what we may be missing about what is going on in our student’s minds as they enter the yoga space. Check it out and let me know what you think.