Effort And Surrender
Effort and surrender are like two wings of a bird. Both are necessary for a smooth and joyful flight." - John Friend (founder of Anusara yoga)
For many people the idea of effort is easy to accept. “No pain, no gain” is a familiar motto. But too much effort is like a horse with blinders. You cannot see what is around you. You are not open to possibilities. A bird has to make an effort to fly south for the winter. But if it did not surrender and use the power of the wind it would never make it. When paddling in white water, there is an effort and a vision to get to the bottom of the difficult rapid. But the paddler needs to surrender to the power of the water, see where the current is flowing and find the line that uses the energy of the water to make it safely to the bottom.
Surrender is often defined as giving up completely to the power of another. But in yoga we look at a “sweet” surrender. It is more of a softening to the moment, a release of tension, a belief in the idea that we are truly supported and cared for, an acceptance and love of our inner being. We can’t fly without surrender. Effort without softening is over-effort. We need to accept that we cannot control everything. There are things beyond our knowledge and control.
Don't be attached to doing the poses - be attached to feeling good.