More is Less

Effort.  It takes effort to maintain alignment.  It takes effort to hold a pose for an extended period.  It takes so much effort to do Yoga.  Doesn’t it?

Try this:  Move into tadasana.  Drop the tailbone, firm down through the buttocks and inner thighs into the feet.  Inhale and extend up the spine and out the crown of the head.  Bring the hands to prayer position and, keeping the chin parallel to the floor, extend the arms overhead.  Interlace the fingers and extend the index fingers to create temple position.  Bring the arms close to the sides of the head and back toward the ears.  Inhale and extend up through the spine and out the fingers.  Hold this position for a minute or two—yes a full minute or two.  Notice what happens to the hands, to the fingers.  Do they start to clench and grip?  Do you find the fingers gripping tighter and tighter to hold the hands and arms up?

Focus on the fingers.  Without releasing the hands, allow the fingers to stop gripping.  Keep them interlaced but stop gripping.  If you were able to relax the fingers, what impact did that have on the rest of the posture?

Breathe.  Relax.  Let go.  It is nearly a mantra.  As you maintain a pose, find those places of holding, those places of gripping fingers and allow them to stop gripping.  As I have been mindfully practicing this these past few days, I have found that the body moves more easily into poses and maintains them almost effortlessly.

For those of you focusing on Level 2:  As you do this, what happens to Prana?  Is it weaker or stronger?  Is it more easily felt or more difficult?


Jai Bhagwan!

    • SO glad you wrote this. I had wondered melsyf some time back about this very question. My partner is not a self-identified yogi, but she does humor me by attending classes once in a while I worried as I went slightly deeper into some yogic philosophy because I was trying to share my experience with someone who wasn’t all that interested in having the same experience.I’ve learned to be satisfied with whatever she chooses to take in from the conversations we have or the philosophy I spew. After all, part of being yogi’ and what had such a spiritual impact on me in the first place was that there were no defined rules about what you HAD to believe or practice. Nobody was imposing their views on me; they offered up information if I asked.Do I sometimes wish my sig other was more interested? sure. But she wishes I got more excited about the Food Network and cooking shows. *shrug* still love her anyway

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  • I love to practice in this way, really digging deep into the details of any given asana and watching what the mind brings up. Very cool. Do you know Ray Long? You must be familiar with his work on anatomy and asana? If not, you have to check out his latest books, the Mat Companion series! amazing . . . He’s launched a new blog,, where you can flip through each of the books . . .