I often overhear yoga conversations, sometimes I jump in. A couple times recently I’ve heard people talking about what muscles they should engage to do this or that pose. “If I flex this or tighten that, I might be able to pull it off! Maybe I should take that tensing and straining workshop!”
Well, that’s one way. But it’s not a great way. I’ve never seen it lead to great capability, in much of anything. Do you think a basketball player running down court decides which muscles to flex and tone? Does a mountaineer choose when it’s a good time to squeeze his butt or engage his bandhas? Does a dancer think about sucking in her belly? Not likely. Not the great ones.
Great athletes aren’t straining their bodies with their minds. They’re just moving. They do what they do with power, grace, fluidity. Never one part at a time, but all the parts together in harmony. And they do all this without thinking. They don’t need to make the decisions for their bodies. Athletes move for what they want, and trust their bodies to find the best way.
This isn’t some concept reserved for a chosen elite. Why would you train to be good in your body, when you can train to be great? Why would you train to be good in your life, when you can train to be great? This also isn’t just about how to have a great run or an inspiring climb, although it will get you there.
It’s about how to be great in your life. You can stress and strain and obsess about controlling every movement in your life. Or you can trust that there’s a better way, that you already have it, and start using it.
As a start, make friends with your body. All this doesn’t mean “be lazy” and “it’s all good.” Far from it. This is about where you direct your efforts. It takes work to get to know your body. It takes work to learn how to use it based on feeling rather than force. It also takes belief.
You need to believe all this doesn’t have to be a struggle.
You need to believe your body is an amazing piece of engineering.
You need to believe you don’t have to go to war with your body – to rigidly control its every move one disconnected part at a time – to get things done.
You need to believe that feeling and sensitivity – to you, and to life – are stronger than pushing and forcing – against you, and against life.
Drop the struggle. You are amazing. Trust your body. Stop putting your energy into stressing and immobilizing yourself. Start moving easily in your life. You’ll get more done this way. You’ll also be much happier.
About Strala Yoga Training
Strala combines the movement and healing wisdom of tai chi with the form vocabularies of yoga, tai chi, qigong, and Traditional Chinese and Japanese Medicine, to help people release stress, move easily through challenge, and live radiantly inspiring lives.
It begins with a mindset, that says our best way to get where we’re going is to feel good along the way. It also works miracles for whole health, helping us to find ease in our bodies and minds, and create the right conditions both for healing and optimal performance.
In our Strala Training Courses, you learn to shape your destiny on every level that counts, from your psychology, chemistry and neurology, to your chromosomes and even gene expression. The unique set of skills you develop – for connecting with yourself and others, unblocking your energy, healing what needs healing and accomplishing challenge with ease – uncovers your ability to create the life you want, and be an inspiring leader to the people around you.
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