by Laura McCorry
I’ve been feeling lately like all of my life is effort and struggle. The daily work of keeping myself and my children clothed, clean, fed, and rested requires physical stamina and takes up most of the day. Once they’re in bed for the night, I’m often too tired to engage in an activity that brings me joy or restores my spirit (like writing or yoga.) Instead I’ll turn to the things that patch my heart (call my Mama, listen to podcasts, add a few more rows to a crochet project) so I can go to sleep and take up my work again the next day.
When I did make it to yoga class, the teacher’s steady voice slipped past my ears into my heart: try to find the balance between effort and ease.
There are words you know by heart. Words you’ve said aloud many times. And yet, when someone else says these words, they can sound completely new. How do you soften your response to life’s trial?
One afternoon, both of my children were crying hard. I noticed my jaw was clenched and I felt completely overwhelmed. I realized I had been a sponge trying to soak up all of their emotions, in order to give them the space to unburden and let go – but that I hadn’t granted myself the same relief. I desperately needed to reframe my mental approach so I could find the ease, because the sponge was over-saturated.
A sieve under running water was the image that stuck in my head and which I’ve called to mind when I feel the flow of emotion from those two, dear tiny humans, my children. Sieve, noun. A device for separating wanted elements from unwanted material (thanks, Wikipedia.) It hasn’t transformed my daily experience into one of constant ease, but it has lessened the burden of effort.
This too, is yoga. Off the mat yoga, away from asana, the physical postures. This is the deep yoga, the words you hear in class working their way slowly into your heart and mind and into new expressions in your life. Try to find the balance between effort and ease. Let that which no longer serves you slip away. You can choose your response to life. Not just in a warrior pose, but everywhere, at all times. Wishing you, dear reader, the blessings of equanimity.
Yoga and Laura had an on-again-off-again relationship from 2004 until 2009 when they decided to move in together and there’s been no looking back since. Passionate about both yoga and writing, Laura loves to introduce others to the joys and benefits of yoga and healthy living.