I have been thinking about this sentence the past week. It was the mantra of my latest feldenkrais training segment, which was all last week (hence a big blank spot in blog posting, as it was a challenge to just practice and do the training). In the training, it was another reminder NOT to try too hard to when attempting to make or improve a movement. By relaxing and trying less, we can accomplish more. (yes, I admit it sounds a little Yoda-like.) Harder, yet, to consciously follow it..
During the lessons, I often wonder if I am trying too hard (and am probably not alone in this in my training)...glossing over the beginning of whatever movement I am supposed to be making..when that is the most important part, albeit the most difficult thing for me to discern. Then there are moments in the lessons where movements become easier, more fluid, sometimes surprisingly so, after a lot of awkward explorations.
This mantra of sorts reminds me so much of what my teacher at the shala tells me when I am struggling with a posture or with the practice itself: relax into your breath, or let the breath do the work. I find it a most inscrutable direction at times, especially when I am struggling to balance or to breath. Relaxation is the furthest thing from my mind. Instead, anxious thoughts such as, will I wobble a lot on my “bad” side, will I manage as deep a pose as last time, will I get a new pose today, or even what’s that person doing over there, can fill my head. It also serves as a reminder to let go of the individual postures, as the attainment of perfect postures is not the goal.