The Power of Doing Less
The Power of Doing Less
One of the goals of Hatha is to better manage Prana or Energy. To become so tuned into the internal world and to make the best use of our energy on all levels. In Ashtanga yoga we are using some specific guidelines to help us better understand our Prana as well as listen to it. Controlling Prana through Drishti, Banda and Breath while taking hold during the postures and transition is what is allowing us to create energy, connect to energy and to learn from it during the process. The act of Asana is the opportunity to learn from the practice by applying specific techniques daily. All of this is challenging to manage all at once. But with consistency and time we become more fine-tuned and have better control of our Prana on every level from deep within. We really practice this on many levels outside the Asana Practice as well.
Knowing there are many different levels we function on daily we have to consider our actions inside and outside of the Asana practice. I believe the benefits of the practice we are looking for come with much time invested into practicing the techniques over and over. While doing this for long periods of time we will encounter struggle and challenges, this is inevitable. So we are also learning to manage our energy in our lives and learn to be more wise with how we expend it. Seems very simple but this will be a key ingredient to the longevity of your practice. Some days just simply do LESS. Yes LESS! The Asana practice requires a lot of energy, in turn it also provides a lot of energy as well. But if we are overdoing the Asana it will diminish our energy potential in other areas. Not always, but when we listen we might see doing just standing asana’s, or doing ½ Primary Series would be wise.
We are reading the fluctuations of the body on an energetic level. We are also working to read the fluctuation of the mind. Ultimately we are looking to control each of these to create a balanced and strong Pranic field. The fluctuations will come, no matter what. What you do with them and how you respond will be the true test of the practice. I believe that HOW you do the practice will determine the outcome of it. If you are too hard and too intense it will show in other areas. If it not enough it will show as well. We must reveal wisdom while practicing; see ourselves and HOW we are approaching the practice. As the fluctuations come on all levels you will learn to use the practice to better help you manage your Prana. But if you are using the practice in a harmful way or a way that is causing your energy to be mismanaged, then you need to look at how you are doing it.
Some days doing less but doing it more focused can be just as good. It is not always about how far you go into the practice. Can you learn to extract what you need in shorter periods of practice? Sometimes I do less knowing the day I have ahead of me. I use energy conservation to help me spread my energy throughout the day. Less is not a bad thing. I know we are pushing to move forward and beyond what we know and have ever experienced. Growing is not always an upward linear progression. I have learned so much more by taking steps back at times and really working to be tuned in and aware of how I am doing even the small, subtle simple things. You are a living-breathing creature! The practice must live and move and breathe with you. You are not a robot. Tune in and listen, the listening includes moving beyond story, this is not an invitation to be lazy. It is an offering to see when slowing down doing a bit less and doing it with more intent can serve us in so many ways; especially if we struggle with doing so. The answer is not always do more and push and force your way to the transformation you seek. Good luck out there!