Try…Try Less… Abandon all Effort

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, during the summer months I have the luxury of teaching Ashtanga yoga fairly frequently.

One of the things I talk to my students about is that often—when attempting to bind a pose—the harder you try, the less likely you are to succeed.

Why? Well for example—in the picture above— if you aren’t making a conscious choice to relax them, the muscles used to lift the hand and move it behind the back will clench around the head of the humerus, making it less likely you will bind the pose.

In these moments, I remind my students to relax their arms. To (at least pretend to) lose all interest in the outcome.

If I’m available, I ask them to let me do the work for them. If they are alone, I show them how to use one hand to help the other out.

Why am I telling you this? 

I mention it to remind you that sometimes the harder you try, the more difficult things become.

In fact, clenching, forcing, being laser-focused on a specific outcome…. all of these choices have the potential to derail your progress.

 So, the next time you find yourself in a lather about how and WHEN you are going to meet a seemingly impossible goal, I recommend giving yourself breathing space—  maybe even asking a co-worker for help or accepting support from your boss. 

All of which have the potential to get you where you need to be in a quicker and more effortless way than you might ever have imagined.

If you are interested in how relaxing with others can give you insight into whether you want to do business with them, you might enjoy “One Hour of Play = One Year of Conversation”.