By Louise Applebome
Transformation is the name of the game in our physical yoga practice.
We can expect, in large and itty bitty ways, shifts in strength, balance, flexibility, attitude, and awareness.
The goal, naturally, is for the shifts to be improvements and progress.
And, the way to optimize the potential for change is by finding the right mix of effort and ease.
In Sanskrit, it’s known as sthira. Sthira is also translated as stability or steadiness.
Being too aggressive on the yoga mat can be counter-productive.
For instance, tight muscles might get tenser, stiffer, and less malleable if we exert too much energy during a stretch.
So, if the goal is to let go of resistance, less really is often more.
Granted, the more experienced practitioners acquire keener clarity about what’s too much and how much backing off to do. But, finding that sweet spot needs to be considered at all levels.
On the flipside, lethargy can also be a liability. There needs to be a certain amount of heat and fire to activate transformation. Being too lazy and unengaged isn’t the answer either.
“Heat” doesn’t refer to a hot yoga class or one in which you jump around until you’re ready to pass out. It’s the kind of heat that burns through and away from obstacles so that alchemical changes become possible.
Alchemical might conjure up something mysterious and/or cryptic.
Its effects may not necessarily be measurable.
But, unless you have a perfectly symmetrical and pain-free body, and a perfectly calm, confident, and aware sensibility and mind, adjustments, and improvements await.
Louise Applebome, 68, is a Certified Yoga Instructor in Dallas. After “retiring” from a vibrant and varied professional career, she became a yoga teacher. She teaches all her classes on Zoom right now and accepts students, young or older, from wherever they are, both geographically and in their pursuit of a yoga practice. Louise will help you stay fit and flexible, and release tension, aches & pains from the body…and the mind. Her yoga studio in Dallas is del norte yoga and you can reach out to her at [email protected].