I remember quite well when I heard this for the first time; it was in my teacher training and my only thought was: now she (my teacher) lost her mind.
I was sweating my heart out, my concentration at a peak, my muscles sore, my entire body a mess of tension. Ease? Really? I rather felt like made of concrete, ease was a term I wasn’t even dreaming of!
It took some time to get an idea of what this means, to find steadiness and same time ease in a posture. Stability and consistency without effort. When holding a posture, while being in correct alignment, there’s a certain moment when it feels just easy, almost like a relief! This is ease.
The best postures to understand the concept of steadiness and ease for me are headstand and handstand. There is this moment, when all of a sudden you feel weightless, your body is in every detail in the right alignment. As if you can stay forever in this posture, almost levitating.
This happens when it all comes together: concentration and an inward view through drishti (focus point), proper ujjayi breath, stability through activating the bandhas and correct alignment. For me it’s additionally about not thinking how to do a pose, but just do it.
Then your yoga starts.
Is it a match? I love essential oils, but wasn’t sure how to incorporate them into my practice. Or if it makes any sense at all. Or if I even like it. I try to keep my practice pure. Just me and my mat, that’s it. Plain-vanilla. My ujjayi breath is strong and I couldn’t imagine any disruption, even not through a good smell, gently diffusing in the air.
A bit of experimenting and I have to admit, it works really well. Yoga and essential oils. It’s all about balance. Accepting that every day is different, every day the body and the mind are in a slightly different mood and need different support. One day I diffuse essential oils, so they transform the room into another world and speak to all my senses. Some days I need stillness, In my ears and my nose. Other days I love to add some oils to my neck and soles of my feet right before shavasana for a perfect relaxation.
There’s no one fits all, play with them! Surprisingly it’s not always the favorite smell that works with the practice. Each oil has it’s effect and magic on both, body and mind. No matter if you initially like it or not. It’s no perfume. But it can be too 🙂
Let the magic work!
I felt quite bad today — sad, worrying and a headache was trying to tempt me to just lay down on the sofa. My mat seemed far away, when I told myself, I’ll feel much better after practicing. So I did. Went to my mat, without any expectations.
I turned slow and peaceful music on. Closed my eyes when warming myself up. In samasthiti I started my Ujjayi breath, very intense and I kept this during the full practice. It was loud and deep and felt like a storm going through my body. It even deepened some asanas. And yes, practice felt so good and not just my body said thank you, also my mind is in a much better mood now!
My breath cleaned me. My breath took all that shit out of me, that put me down. My inner smile is back.
This kind of intensifying asana practice also works when being in a happy mood — you can even push more. Stay a bit longer in each asana, close your eyes and go into your feelings. You may enjoy some and others better let go. So a rather aware inner tidying up. Let go of anything that doesn’t serve you any longer and enjoy.
Let your body work and your mind will follow.