Effortless attitude in yoga asana practice …
by Michelle Berrange
Our busy lives seem to occur because of a concerted effort to ‘make it happen’. Instead of allowing the day to unfold we constantly ‘plan ahead’, with little or no trust in the present moment. We feel the need to DO something if anything is to happen.
The mind and the body are so intimately connected that ultimately there is no difference and they are telling us identical stories. Being the more visible aspect of our inner workings the body often speaks more eloquently than the mind can speak for itself. When the body is aligned and still, so too is the mind. When we work with the body there is beauty, comfort, natural breath and harmony. The body is a projection of the being – it does not lie!
Perfecting yoga postures for meditation comes not so much from action but from reflection. We need to align the spine and our buttock bones so that we are centered and steady. Steady occurs when the head, neck and trunk support the natural curve in the spine. Once a solid, equanimous foundation is established the next step is to surrender, reflect, do nothing and allow the pose to settle in for stillness and silence. It is an active form of doing nothing, of consciously ceasing to place any effort into the pose. This conscious effort to release can be felt experientially and internally.
The goal of asana practice is not flexibility, cardiovascular fitness or to develop muscular strength ( although these can happen) but to restore to the body and mind its fundamental state of well-being, freedom, vibrant awareness and alertness. Tension leaves and we are left with a feeling of unending space. Yoga cannot be explained in words – it needs to be experienced.
Pure love, light and freedom