On yoga, effort, and life

Working with yoga is often interesting. You stretch and twist and focus, trying to be very conscious and aware of your movements, and then one day in the middle of a twisting pose you see your left foot coming out from behind your right ear. At first that’s a real surprise, a shock. You think, “Well, that can’t be my foot over there”, and then you realize it is your foot, and with that comes a strong sense of accomplishment, and maybe a little smile.

Then you do the same pose in the opposition direction, but twist and stretch as you might, your right foot doesn’t come out from behind your left ear. You know you can’t push it any more, at least not while doing the pose properly, so you realize you have a little imbalance. You accept that you have some work to do, but it’s a good thing, so you push on.

I think life is like that too, or can be like that. If you enjoy the struggle, if it’s a worthy struggle — Castaneda’s “a path with heart” — the effort comes willingly, and with its own rewards.


Each movement must be an art ~ B.K.S. Iyengar alvin March 5, 2019 - 10:39am

“Always stretch from the source, the core, the foundation of each asana. Keep your attention internal, not worrying about what others see, but what the Self sees. Each movement must be an art, an art in which the Self is the only spectator.”

B.K.S. Iyengar, Light on Life: The Yoga Journey (with a few minor edits by me)

Beautiful, inspiring yoga pose

I saw a small photo in a recent issue of Yoga Journal, and thought it was so beautiful that I made this “fake oil painting” from the photo. (Click the photo to see it in its full size.) Whenever I get lazy in a pose I think of this photo as a form of inspiration. The caption on the photo said, “It was the morning of my grandfather’s funeral, and I needed a little yoga. I headed out to a lake in Brown County, Indiana.” ~ Kalee Thompson, Athens, Georgia