Effort and ease: balance in your body and life

Balance between effort and ease

Balance in your body equals balance in your life

Looking for balance in your body and life means looking for the balance between effort and ease. Finding the balance between being driven, doing nothing, and relaxing varies from person to person. Some people are restless and have trouble with sitting still and taking a breather, while others don’t enjoy making an effort. Whatever case you find yourself in, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on yourself and your body. Let us help you with that.

Sthira Sukham Asanam

The balance between effort and ease comes from the Yoga Sutra “Sthira Sukham Asanam.” This term means: “every asana should be steady and comfy.” Where Sthira stands for effort, steadiness and strength, Sukha refers to ease and relaxation. This saying can be used on the yoga mat, but can also be applied to your everyday life.

The motivation behind the effort

This balance can, for starters, be found by examining your motives for executing certain actions. Are you doing something just because you have to? Are you forcing yourself to do it? Or are others? If you do something because you have to, there might be pressure on you mentally. It’s not your choice to work, or exercise, for example. This can create resistance in your body, which will make the exertion a lot harder.

A good motivation can be described as inspired action. This is when you act from free will and are able to notice a sense of relaxation. When you are running, for example, and you do it because you like it, there comes a point when it all comes naturally. By feeling how good the movement feels in your body, you can continue without much effort. This effortless ease puts you in a nice flow. The effort becomes a lot less heavy and feels more like relaxation. At this moment, your body has found a balance between effort and ease. This motivation works a lot better than a voice that says that you should run, because “your friends do it too” and “otherwise won’t get a summer body”.

Boundaries in the workplace

That we live in a society where much is asked of us is nothing new. But perhaps it’s useful to reflect on the effect this has on you. It may be that the high expectations of the current job market give you a lot of tension.

It becomes more and more common that people suffer from the pressure in the workplace. The idea that you constantly have to make an effort, keep pushing and get the best results, can cause resistance in your body. You no longer enjoy working when you go beyond your limits. Remember that your body has to be in balance. With effort also comes ease, so allow yourself that too. Recognize your boundaries and show them.

Balance in your social life

Resistance can show up in all areas of your life. Especially in a society, where one blink results in feeling like you’re a step behind, it’s not surprising that you have to put in a lot of effort. Working, exercising for a healthy body, visiting your friends. The pressure is high when you have to combine all the activities every day. It seems like everyone keeps running, jumping, and flying until we fall to the floor. Sitting still and doing nothing for a second almost seems impossible.

Which is why it might be a good idea to explore where the tension in your body is coming from. Where is the mental pressure, and where is your effortless ease? Do you notice too much effort, or mostly ease? For example, you may not feel like going out with your friends, but experience a lot of social pressure. Recognizable, because the Fear Of Missing Out is on the mind of many people these days. It might not be convenient to hang out with your friends for that reason. You are forcing yourself to do it, which will create tension in your body as it puts it out of balance. This makes it difficult to stay in the moment and experience what is going on. Is that worth your time?

Listen to what the body has to say

Hear us out. We’re not telling you to stop working or to stop hanging out with your friends. It’s super-normal to have things you need to do, and these activities are what brightens up your life. It’s all about paying attention to the signals in your body.

One of the key points of yoga is listening to your body. Try to figure out what you feel resistant to. Where is the effort and where is the ease? Is it in balance? Your body will let you know. Your muscles tighten when you don’t feel like doing something. Listen to this resistance and avoid tension in your body and life. Find some more Sukha if you feel too much Sthira and bring everything in your body in balance.

If you want to be aware of your body, a body scan meditation is a good idea. This is a mindfulness exercise in which you pay attention to every part of your body from the inside. This scan helps you to become aware of the things you feel. Is there tension anywhere? Or do you feel discomfort? During the day, you spend most time in your head, but now we bring the focus to your body. By doing this, you get to know your body and can find out if there is any resistance in your body. A relaxing exercise to sit, or in this case lie, and think about yourself. Read more about the mindfulness body scan here.