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The Art of Effortless Effort

"The posture for yoga should be steady, stable, and motionless, as well as comfortable."
sthira sukham asanam)
― Patanjali‘sYoga Sutras, 2.46-2.48

A posture is a life situation, Perfecting a posture comes not so much by doing but rather by not doing. Once you are into the posture, allow the posture to settle in, as an active form of consciously ceasing to place any effort in the effort. Practice effortless effort, along with focus on embracing the infinite, your expansion borrows from how much you are able to let go off.

Experience balance between effort and ease in every pore, every hair, even the smallest cell in your body. You might need a lot of strength in order surrender, yet elegant and honest, accept your current condition. How to stay strong, focused and attentive without breaking our body or our mind? How to stay steady and true to yourself when facing the unknown? The art of effortless effort is about finding that subtle point of unstable balance.



Fold into your landscape

"What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend."

― Shakespeare, Sonnet 53

Bend forward and find the limitless landscape within you. Self-study represents an ongoing process through which we can assess where we are at a given moment. Make your actions become much more than a way to achieve something external, but a mirror in which you can learn to see yourself deeply. Pierce through the veil of your self-image and into the nature of your own essential being. Everybody. Everything. All actions can be an opportunity to see more deeply who you are and how you operate, and on that basis evaluate your choices and respond with insight and conscious action rather than mechanic causality. Forward fold.



Patiently trust your heaviness


“Deep down, I don’t believe it takes any special talent for a person to lift himself off the ground and hover in the air. We all have it in us—every man, woman, and child—and with enough hard work and concentration, every human being is capable of…the feat….You must learn to stop being yourself. That’s where it begins, and everything else follows from that. You must let yourself evaporate. Let your muscles go limp, breathe until you feel your soul pouring out of you, and then shut your eyes. That’s how it’s done. The emptiness inside your body grows lighter than the air around you. Little by little, you begin to weigh less than nothing. You shut your eyes; you spread your arms; you let yourself evaporate. And then, little by little, you lift yourself off the ground. Like so.” 
― Paul Auster, Mr. Vertigo

Gravity takes hold of even the strongest thing and pulls it down toward the core of the world. Each thing held in place, is connected to the surface. Patiently trusting your heaviness, surrender to the intelligence in your foundations and invert that pulling force, all the way through your arms and towards your flight.

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I look forward to seeing you O'yogis, we will explore arm balances with intelligence!  




Lean into your fear

How do we behave in the face of the unknown? There is resistance and fear when the possibility of losing a certain current situation raises. The resistance to losing "our familiar identities" is the fear of the death of those identities.

When we can create space around fear, it can open into an intelligence manifested in curiosity about its meaning. These things don’t want to be looked at, but we can lean into them, stepping more deeply into ourselves. Sometimes what we encounter when we step inside is expectedly uncomfortable, but like a quiet observer we can examine them, find ways to grow, transmute, expand.

Trust in your own will power, face whatever arises in the field of your awareness, move into the dark unknown, and generously open yourself to the world. Backbending!

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I look forward to seeing you O'yogis, we will explore that inner unknown going into backbends!



Hold on to it and let it go

The capacity to persist and to let go, Abhyasa and Vairagya are two of the most important foundation principles of Yoga. Abhyasa means practice and Vairagya means non-attachment. Balancing these two companions is a key to pursue the subtler and more advanced practices.

Abhyasa involves cultivating a strong conviction, a persistent effort to consistently choosen practices with actions, speech, and thoughts that lead in the direction of a stable tranquility, many times in the face of constant failure. Vairagya involves learning to actively and systematically encounter, explore and let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self. It teaches us to let go, be present and to flow with life.

Holding on and letting go work together. Practice leads you in the right direction, while non-attachment allows you to continue the inner journey without getting sidetracked along the way. (Yoga Sutras 1.12-1 .16)