From Effort to Effortlessness in Backbends
Sat Visnu Middling
How can we move from a state of effort and exertion to a state of effortlessness—or at least glimpse a more easeful, graceful, steady, harmonious state of being?
There is more than one way to approach this puzzle. One method is through hard work itself. Sometimes to achieve a more fluid, open Urdhva Dhanurasana, for instance, you simply need to repeat the pose many times. In order to improve Sirsasana, you must practice Sirsasana. For the most part, daily.
Tapas, burning zeal and the burning up of impurities through devoted discipline, is part of our practice. On the other hand, what if you are ill, injured, fatigued, menstruating, or perhaps simply started yoga much later in life? There has to be an avenue into the more challenging asanas that offers a glimpse at reduced effort, peace, and completeness in the asana. This session will explore different methods for finding harmony and reduced effort in backbends.
Ease of Being in Padmasana and Variations
Sat Visnu Middling
In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, there are not many sutras that describe asana. However, two of the better known are the following, sutras II. 46 and II. 47:
sthira sukham asanam
“Asana is perfect firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit.”
prayatna saithila ananta samapattibhyam
“Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached.”
It sounds desirable doesn’t it? Firmness of body, steadiness of intelligence and benevolence of spirit. Reaching the infinite being within. Of course, anyone who has ever taken a yoga class or taken to the practice knows that these profound states of being do not come readily. Most of us do not come by effortlessness easily. This session will explore ease of being in Padmasana and variations by looking at related asanas, sequencing, and actions that prepare the body for Padmasana with a sense of naturalness.