Trisha sent me an article from Yoga Samachar, the IYNAUS newsletter, by John Schumacher, titled “Effortless Effort.” It’s an idea that comes from the Yoga Sutras that translates as
Perfection in an asana is achieved when the effort to perform it becomes effortless and the infinite being within is reached. –(11.47)
I only read the article a couple of days ago. It has stuck in my mind ever since. Schumacher makes the point that one way to reach effortlessness is persistent practice. So I’ve been thinking about that in terms of my whole practice as opposed to individual asana practice. He also talks about developing “a quiet, receptive mind.” This comes after persistent practice of asanas. As the poses get easier, you approach the possibility of that quiet receptive mind.
In my practice yesterday and today, particularly in the poses that I have done a million times, I made a point of calming my mind and slowing and softening my breathing. Although I am not quite there in poses that are still a struggle for me, just entertaining the possibility of effortless effort through a quiet mind is a big step forward.