In a world that frequently challenges us to PUSH our limits, Jason Crandell offered a different perspective in this morning’s asana workshop. As we began the practice, Crandell asked us to consider that “Integrity and stability are more important than range.”
Throughout the energizing sequence, he focused on the idea that your edge is that balance between effort and relaxation. Crandell made his way around the room, instructing and guiding the practice, while offering up sage insights that were worth stopping and making a note of (and I did more than a few times in the two hour class).
We want to learn to work with conscious effort and not hurl ourselves in (and out) of poses. How many of us can relate to that style of “practice”?? We muscle (and force) our way into some pose exerting maximum effort and then come out of it with equal abandon. Slow down, Crandell advises, and see that the balance of effort and relaxation is more important than achieving any particular form.
The pose is not the goal. (Say “what?!) Instead we use poses to FREE the body. The work of the pose is there to unveil who we really are. In basic poses, we want to learn how to work; in the more challenging ones, we want to learn how to relax. As Crandell reminded us, “Anything that is difficult for you will work better when you relax.” This is true in life as well as our asana practice.
Funny, that’s how most things are.