Effort and Grace. Not necessarily two words you would put together, but in yoga, this makes complete sense. I was on the mat like "why the hell wasn't I thinking about it like this in the first place?"
This week my yoga was all about trying to match both effort and grace in equal measure. The teacher talks about finding a space between the two. A space that allows a feeling of lightness in whatever pose it is we're working on. What does that even mean, "lightness"? In my head, I started picturing a bottle of Old Jamaica ginger beer, unopened and begging to be drunk. The only way to open that bad boy without losing its fizz or spilling it, is to apply equal pressure in opposite directions, and to then enjoy the result of that fiery goodness taking you back to the summer holidays or family gatherings, so basically a happy, good place.
Later that week, I was standing in Mountain pose with prayer hands to my chest trying to make peace with the abilities and limitations of my body and thought about how easy and second nature it is to just stand up and hang out, a bit like you do when you're waiting for the tube. But that kind of standing has no grace in it at all and most people are trying to stand in one place in one position with as little effort as possible. 'Cos frankly commuting around London can literally leave you feeling and looking like a sack of potatoes if you aint careful.
But with a little bit of effort, some attention and intention, standing up can be a beautiful thing. So I stood there, I put some extra attention on my feet and tried to feel the ground with all corners and sides. I did a mental checklist. Literally "head, shoulders, knees and toes" stylee and switched on my thigh muscles, tucked in my tail bone, squeezed my ass and found neutral, asked my core to roar and "lay my shoulders" down on my back, and then held on with dear life and repeated in my head "just breathe". Chest open, I found me a little bit of grace.
For that hour everything made sense. Yoga is going to require this of me so I'm gonna get a lot of practice. There is nothing easy about yoga, but I'm mindful that it shouldn't be hard, as in pain and conflict in the body either. Instead, I'm trying to find that middle ground. I wanna drink my ginger beer in peace, not be effing and blinding with sticky fingers cos' I bust the lid too fast, too eagerly.
I guess you could call it a breakthrough. I'm kinda enjoying this Yogahood life.
If you're making small waves in your yoga life holla at your girl and let me know how it's going. Small tings create big things don't cha know! x