In the last few days of our training, Tony suggested that we try at 70% of what we usually do. At the time I thought he was letting us rest, encouraging us to be gentle and safe with our tired bodies. Now I realize that he was leading us to a deeper, more complete practice.
When I push myself physically to 100%, I push past where my body tells me is okay. I push to the edge of my physical capability to where I can't possibly stretch farther, I can't possibly squeeze tighter. While this makes 100% for my body, it numbs my mind. When my mind says "Far enough," I say "A little more." When my body says "This is a good stretch," I say "Harder." I am ignoring the natural signals from my body. I am overpowering myself.
When I back off my physical exertion, I go to the place where my body says "Enough." I stop there, and now I can be quiet, I can be still. My body can speak to me and, more importantly, I can hear it because I am not using every ounce of effort to push. When I can hear my body, my alignment becomes clearer, my effort becomes right, and the connection between body, mind and energy becomes strong.
From here my body begins to trust me and opens up. When it asks for a movement from me, a realignment or backing off, I oblige. This way we begin to work together. Less effort on my part now leads to greater depth and stronger energy.
Because no matter how hard I push my body, it is not as strong by itself as it is when in harmony with my mind and energy.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga