17 May Steadiness and Ease
There’s this concept in yoga about the ideal position. It’s one where you hold yourself steady, with strength and stability…but at the same time you hold yourself gently, with ease and comfort. It’s about striking a balance between effort and relaxation. Not too hard, but not too soft either.
Sometimes we really grit our teeth and flex our muscles and get ourselves into position and just hold the tension, braced for what is to come.
Don’t we know, though, that rigid structures are more likely to break in an impact? Flexible structures yield to the force, transferring the energy of the impact more evenly throughout the structure and therefore avoiding a snap.
In Sanskrit, the ancient Indian language of yoga, this concept is articulated as sthira sukham asanam, and it applies to the yoga poses we make with our bodies, the asanas.
This applies to our physical bodies of course, but it can also apply to our minds.
Rigidity leads to polarity…I’m on my side which is opposed to your side and anything you say must be wrong because I will not cede ground, because that brings me one step closer to losing, and I am a winner.
Sthira sukha, however, asks for balance. Yes, please have a considered point of view. Within that, contemplate and consider not only what bolsters your opinion, but also cultivate an easiness and comfort with considering alternatives. Considering different points of view, something new or even in direct opposition to what you think, is not the same thing as agreeing with that point of view, nor is it a harbinger of your impending defeat.
Considering things doesn’t mean you immediately go to hell, or join the other side (who you may have grown to demonize and abhor and therefore fear the chances you might ever agree).
Consideration expands your mind and the result is a deeper and more articulate understanding of and ability to express and share your own point of view.
Be steady, be firm. Be yielding, be at ease.
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