Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I have been doing a lot of hard (power) yoga classes. My yoga practice has been really strong. If I don’t press up into urdhva dhanurasana (wheel) at least once per class then I don’t feel as though I’ve really been on my mat. Which is wonderful. My practice is whatever I need it to be– when I need to work hard, I work hard, and when I need to rest, I rest. Wanting to be “better” at yoga than I am is not one of the ego problems that I am working on– or if it is, it’s at the bottom of the list.

So I’ve been sweating it out. And I feel great.

I’ve always been attracted to a powerful style of yoga practice, and vinyasa is what makes my heart sing. But for years I took it easy because of injury. I’ve been taking little forays into power classes and staying there longer and longer (which means 5 or 6 classes a week for me right now– I work from home).

Source: penelopesoasis.com

What I’ve found is that instead of working harder, I’m actually letting go more, finding ways to float through my practice. My body is strong and knows where to go, but it’s more that I’m training my mind to flow. The other day I tried Dwi Pada Viparita Dandasana (two legged inverted staff pose) for the first time. Instead of thinking “there’s no way I can do that”, I thought “why not?” It wasn’t easy, but it felt easy.

Of course training my mind is a lot harder than training my body. But little by little I make progress.

Little by little I let go when it counts.

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