Effort & Ease

(originally posted 3/2017)

It’s been a while since I’ve written, or maybe I should say written for public consumption.  Massage therapy school has taken over quite a bit of my time, and I’ve learned a lesson about self-care.  I’ve learned a lesson about ease.  I’ve had to revisit the sutras to remind myself just what this looks like for me right now.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali reminds us of ease and effort in sutra 2:46: sthira sukham asanam.  This does speak solely to asana practice…the poses we do.  But I don’t limit it to just time spent on my mat; I spend so much more time moving about the world, interacting with others that I can’t help but think there’s more application.  My own interpretation is that we are to reside in a place of right effort and ease moving through life…right effort in the action of our lives, and ease in our approach to those actions.  Asana, for some, could be the first glimpse at what this means.  It’s the gateway.

Attachment, grasping, fighting, struggling…these do not fit.  These are all traits that do not reside in ease.  Steadiness in my studies and practice, consideration in the actions I choose, choosing to live from love instead of fear…these are the traits of right action for me right now.

Now more than ever, I’m discovering how staying in a place of right effort and ease are the only way I am able to stay centered and grounded.  I am able, through this part of my practice, to take the actions daily that serve and love.  I am also able to rest when I need rest.  I move my body to keep my energy flowing and uplifted.  I drink water frequently and start my day on the mat.

What are the ways you can find sthira and sukha, effort and ease?  Where can you invite effort and ease into your life?

The opportunities are there.  Look closely…can you let go of attachment?  Can you release your grasp on outcomes?  Can you choose love over fear?  Can you drop the struggle of the day to day?

Thoughts?

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