20 Feb Effort Becomes Effortless
I’ve been practicing yoga for most of my adult life, more than 25 years. I’ve had many periods of intense practice, even traveled to India years ago to study with BKS Iyengar.
These days I try to make it to a class once a week, usually on Saturday mornings. My teacher is out of town, and our regular sub had a sub. R was someone who seemed very familiar. My curiosity is piqued when someone feels so familiar. Do I know him? Or is it just that there is some unspoken resonance? He made a reference to working at Apple for many years and I wondered if that’s where our paths had crossed.
Regardless, the class was sublime. Initially I had thoughts that R was talking far too much, but then realized that where he was guiding our awareness was changing my experience, and not in a small way. I became grateful for each thing he said as I noticed the life force move through my body with clear intention. I could sense my own strength in a new way. Something in me was tuned into the entire room, sensing the obstacles for each pose, the tightness or flexibility of each body. We were practicing poses that are generally despised, our western bodies struggling to hold intense twisting standing poses.
Tossed in the midst of his generous instruction, R referred to something to notice, an experience of divinity that becomes possible in yoga: effort becoming effortless. That phrase has been rattling around in my thoughts since class. Got me curious, do I ever experience that?
Painting was the first thing to come to mind. Years ago a friend told me she had felt intimidated to paint near me because the images came through me with such intensity, seemingly effortlessly. It’s true, if there is a paintbrush in my hand and an abundance of paint, images are created without much pause. There is a passion that drives me, that loves watching the images unfold. Painting is one of my favorite things. At it’s best, it is a place of surrender and sensuous contact – with my divine nature, and with the infinite field of creation and love.
What about you? Where in your experience does effort feel effortless?