Medium Effort is Best Effort
By Angie Campbell
Cultivating awareness, interoception and proprioception is the true goal of yoga –- the union of body, mind and heart. This integration is the elusive and golden place where the virtue really lives. With a medium-effort practice we can listen deeply, know ourselves more fully, and celebrate this understanding via optimal health.
Our society glorifies overworking and constantly pushing oneself to the extreme. This is carried into some yoga practices and unfortunately, the motion and muscle activation from drastically strenuous postures can have a suboptimal effect on our bodies both physiologically and biomechanically.
Many people have mental blocks to slowing down their world and letting go of the grind. To them, a medium effort can sometimes not feel like enough. Despite the popularity and pull to be extreme, as a yoga teacher I feel a responsibility to teach medium effort because of the amazing holistic benefits. A yoga class that is a bit slower paced, intelligently sequenced and moderately cued can be a great place to begin.
Our connective tissue is primed for top performance when it’s not trying to protect us. Our mental state is primed for linking mind and body when it’s not overwhelmed. When we are not under a stress response and we move intelligently, we embody the essence of balance. We begin to move like divine, well-oiled machines.
The Sanskrit words for why we practice yoga are: Chit Ananda. Chit can be translated as realizing our true nature and Ananda means bliss. It is not easy, but it is sure proven to be meaningful. Medium effort is the easeful, elegant place where thought, breath, and movement are fluid. It is where power is generated without strain. Try making ‘medium effort’ your practice motto and let us know how you feel!
6170 Delmar, across from the Moonrise Hotel. Free parking in the u-city lot.