Friday, July 31, 2009

The art of gentle persuation

The Wind and the Sun were having an argument about who was stronger and more powerful. Suddenly they saw a traveler with a heavy cloak walking down the road. The Sun said, "Whoever can get the cloak off the traveler shall be considered the strongest". The Wind agreed to the challenge and the Sun retired behind a cloud while the Wind began to blow with all its might. The harder the Wind blew and tore at the traveler's cloak, the more closely the traveler wrapped the cloak around himself. Finally in frustration the Wind gave up and let the Sun have a turn. The Sun began to shine all his warmth upon the traveler who soon became hot and took off his cloak proving that the gentle persuasion of the Sun was stronger than all the forceful efforts of the Wind.

How often in life do we try to make things happen, believing that the harder we try the more likely we are to get what we want? Is it possible that "No pain, no gain" is a myth? Intention, hard work and discipline needed to learn and grow, but forceful effort can lead to injury and unnecessary pain. Letting go and being in the moment are keys to allowing what we seek to come to us. It is a dance between intention and acceptance. To believe that we are in control is an illusion. Life is vast and full of mystery.

One of the most important things we can learn from yoga is to relax into the fullness of the pose. We need a strong foundation, we need muscular energy, but if there is no softness, if we are not aware of our breath, the pose will never be experienced with its full benefits. It is on the exhalation, as we gently let go of the breath, that we expand fulling into the pose. Yoga means union, the yoking of seemingly opposites. Too much muscular energy causes restrictions and too much relaxation does not give the needed foundation to support the pose. We need sensitivity to listen to our body and honor the messages it gives us.

When we realize we are connected to a higher power, to something bigger than ourselves, we can let go of some of our willing and effort. Instead we can feel supported and accepting of lessons that are presented to us. Sometimes the route to what we want is circuitous. It is the journey that is the real prize, and the reward often comes with less effort than expected.

No comments:

Post a Comment