Ease Isn't So Easy


Don’t you love listening to musicians whose music just flows out of them? Whether or not you’re into their genre, you just can’t help but be awestruck. Same with gifted dancers and athletes; their movement just exudes grace and effortless ease.

But is their flow and ease effortless?

I was at a workshop with Jason Crandell who told us about the time he worked at a concert venue in San Francisco. Before every concert, he said, the orchestra would practice scales and arpeggios for at least two hours. These veteran musicians never stopped practicing the basics in order to bring grace and ease to their art.

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali’s only comment about asana (posture) is sthira sukham asanam: posture should be stable and comfortable. By asanam, Patanjali was referring to a seat in meditation, but over the years, many yogis have broadened that to all yoga postures, saying there should be a balance of steadiness and ease, of effort and surrender in each posture and in the practice as a whole.

In a webinar on yogauonline, yoga therapist, Shy Sayar, said there were two kinds of better: a) more and, b) same but with less effort. In terms of yoga asana, building skill and muscle through conscious practice over time leads to unconscious competence. You don’t necessarily accumulate more postures, but through steady effort, challenging poses become light & peaceful, full of ease (sukha).

I believe that what we practice on the mat, in the orchestra pit and any place else we’re pursuing growth, applies more importantly to our daily struggles and to our relationships, which to me often requires even more effort in order to find ease.

Ease isn’t so easy, is it?

Susan JohnsonComment