Where Ease and Effort Meet
Hello My Beauty,
I’ve been relearning Yoga. I say re-learning because about seven or eight years ago, I practiced yoga regularly. I loved it. And then, per my body’s request, it was time to stop. Instead, I took up walking and more recently, jogging.
It is the beginning of the decade of my 50’s and I’ve decided to reclaim Yoga. After participating in a weekly class for three months now, I recognize that Yoga is a modality of movement I absolutely need.
So far, I’m taking ‘beginners’ classes and I’m enjoying the re-immersion into the mind-set and body-set of Yoga, especially because my teacher is magic. Laurie Burnaby is pure joy and mindfulness, and Gods, she is sooo present. It is a delight to be taught something so moving (Yoga in its entirety) from someone who loves what she does so much. It’s also very empowering.
We’ve been working on our breath, on the cadence of movement in conjunction with the breath, how each pose flows with each inhale and each exhale. How just by BREATHING you can strengthen the pose, lengthen the pose, go deeper into the pose, and thus deeper into your own well-being. Who knew?
Yoga is fascinating and fun and since I go with a girlfriend, I’m showing up. We’re showing up together and it’s now become something special we do for ourselves and for each other.
In class the other night, Laurie was explaining that in Yoga the goal is to find WHERE EASE AND EFFORT MEET within each pose, and I had an, aha! moment.
The space between ease and effort IS the space where presence is born.
Think about it…. Ease and Effort ~ Yin and Yang ~ Light and Dark ~ where two seemingly opposite attributes meet and overlap and become one. Where your body and your mind and your spirit meld, the space where you are WHOLE.
In Yoga, EASE is breathing into each pose, feeling every snap and crackle and pop as my body melts into my breath. It’s the, ‘oh, that feels sooo good’ as I deepen the stretch.
In my writing, EASE is getting out of the way of Spirit and allowing my fingertips to flow over the keyboard so these words can be transcribed to you, for you (and for me too.)
EASE is choosing to live a life from a place of joy, inviting gratitude and love and hope and inspiration to be my teachers. EASE is cultivating each until I AM JOY, I AM GRATITUDE, I AM LOVE, I AM HOPE and INSPIRATION.
EASE is living in self-compassion, with purposeful kindness, and forgiveness of self and others.
EFFORT holds an altogether different connotation. EFFORT means striving and trying and sweating and working hard TO. GET. THINGS. DONE. To ACT.
No pain, no gain!
Just Do It!
It takes hard work to do/to get/to be [fill in the blank…]
But in all the striving and trying, in all the DOING, something VITAL is lost ~ EASE.
EASE is what makes EFFORT worthwhile. EASE is what brings Spirit to EFFORT. EASE is the grace and humility and appreciation of the EFFORT we put forth.
EFFORT without EASE is painful and hard and humiliating, too often pushing us into self-criticism: “You’re not trying hard enough.” “You did it wrong, no wonder it didn’t work.” “Do it again and again and again until you get it right!”
The space where EASE and EFFORT meet IS grace.
EASE is the guiding light of EFFORT that makes room for possibilities. And when there is room for possibilities, there is room for miracles, shifts of self-appreciation, gratitude for all we do have.
I truly believe we CAN learn lessons from love and joy and gratitude, not just pain. But we have to be open to this kind of grace.
I once had a student tell me she liked doing things the hard way, that way she felt like she’d actually learned something. Her struggle validated the lesson learned.
Okay. That absolutely is ONE way to learn a lesson.
I’ve learned lessons the hard way. I’ve been in my deep, dark cave with no way out (seemingly, as I am not there anymore.) I know what learning the hard way looks like, I know what it feels like, and I know the value it can bring.
AND I choose differently now.
I set my intent daily to learn my lessons through joy and kindness and love, and by listening to my heart and soul. By knowing how I want to feel ~ JOY ~ and then living, and learning, from and in joy.
The space between EASE and EFFORT IS the grace with which I choose to be.
They say, ‘when you are ready the teacher will come.’ For right now, for many days to come, Yoga and Laurie Barnaby, and the space between EASE and EFFORT are showing me ways to live that I’d never thought of before. And for that I am ever grateful.
So, My Beauty, it is my wish for you that you too can find where EASE and EFFORT meet, whatever that looks like and feels like to you.
And remember, breathing into the space between helps.
Please take a moment and visit Laurie Burnaby E-RYT 500, YTRx at her beautiful and informative website. You can find her at www.reposetherapeuticyoga.com.
IN JOY and limitless gratitude,