Rhythm Exchange: Soften

We don’t believe in hurting the body to feel you ‘got’ or achieved a pose.

If anything, it’s the opposite.

The shifts in energy and the effects of a yogasana (posture) may be felt immediately; as soon as your body settles into a shape, the flow of inner rhythm exchange is there; warmth in the muscles, a sensation of letting go, a ‘falling in’, a softening, maybe even a tightening! Often the effects take time; maybe a few breaths, or a day or two.

Some shifts are huge tidal waves, others are soft and barely skim the surface.

But pain is a sign to stop.

And pain the following day means you were led by ego; not listening to the body mindfully.

It’s much better to feel into the appropriate edge, than to travel too far and harm the body. Some people have this theory that they aren’t getting their moneys worth unless they are unable to walk the next day. And, okay, some muscular tension and a realisation of ‘new’ muscles (basically remembering those you’d forgotten!) is good. That means you discovered and moved with new intention. Maybe undoing some old negative movement and mental patterns.

But genuine pain is not a result of true yoga.

Wanting to get into handstand or an intricate one-legged balance is all in the mind. One day you’ll achieve those shapes, but then where to go? Will the world be any different because you achieved it? No. Because it is not about the destination, it’s about the journey.

If you can slow down and feel into the pose so deeply and realise the subtlest of shifts, without any care of what it looks like or how the shape ‘should’ be, then you’re transforming the body, mind and spirit.

Because when you realise that you want to achieve a goal off the mat, in everyday life, you’ll have learnt what it is to observe where you are now, the tools you have available and you’ll be able to visualise and plan how to get there. In no rush. Not being down about your present situation. Not looking forward to the future. But being here, now.

Then life becomes transformed.

So, its super important to feel into every little sensation on the mat. Don’t let any teacher pull you further than you can go. Don’t let a ‘peak’ or ‘final’ pose be your goal.

Learn to do what you can so beautifully, so fully, being the best version you can be, right here, right now.

Then, when you are fully listening. All the time. You’ll consciously be able to create and shape your life; your postures; your art, in exactly the way you intended. And pain and suffering will fall to the side.

Pain is a sign to stop. To back off.

If you are breathing into the moment of now, you’ll feel what is an appropriate edge.

That’s a rhythm exchange right there; I’ll back off and the world will open up.