Managing Effort in Your Yoga Practice.

Managing Effort In Your Yoga Practice: Less grunt leads to mindful reflection and progress in yoga.
When I first started yoga I tried so hard to understand what it was all about. I put in a great amount of effort to do the poses. I used to sweat heaps and I tried soo hard.
At some point it gradually dawned on me that if I backed off a bit and tried to become calmer about what I was trying to do I not only gained new insights but began to enjoy my practice even more.
I used to find full arm balance a frightening pose and would wear myself out throwing myself time and time again at the wall trying to lift both feet off the floor.
I now understand that managing effort is key to progressing in yoga. There is this concept in yoga that dates back thousands of years called “effortless effort” which means that perfection in asanas comes when the effort to perform it becomes less.
Props help us work towards effortless effort. They allow us to enter the pose without expending so much effort and they allow us to stay in the pose in a way that lets us become quiet and reflective.
I remember Richard telling me that when he first started to practice backbends he found it near impossible to lift up. I agree with him. Initially it took so much effort. It seemed impossible to imagine that such a pose could be practised in a calm way. But overtime you do learn how to refine your effort and how to use your breath so you can decrease muscular effort and come into and stay in the pose in a calm way that lets you enjoy fully the experience.

You will need to find that balance between building up arm strength to lift up into this backbend and staying calm … so you can perform it without overdoing (wrong tension in the body).

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