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!