High-level performance of all sorts, mental and physical, is always accomplished with ease. Keep in mind: Ease doesn’t mean things are easy. Ease is simply the approach. Ease is the how of what we’re doing. And this approach is the secret to awe-inspiring feats accomplished by athletes, great minds, and fantastic artists. What they do seems effortless, but it isn’t. It is all about hard work – done from a place of ease.
Practicing ease trains you to move how it feels good and to follow your intuition, which leads to the experience of freedom and having a lot of fun along the way.
My 7-day program consists of one full practice per day partnered with one or two shorter target practices and some moments of chill and check-in time. My book Strala Yoga has a more intensive 30-day program as well.
To really get the most out of this program, I have three bits of advice:
1. WRITE IT DOWN:
It is incredibly useful to write down how you feel each day before, during, and after the routines. Of course, the practices are physical, but there are mental and emotional components of moving with ease, and all that sensitizing is bound to open up and shift some things around.
You might feel a burst of energy at different times of the day. You might feel more creative, connected,and in touch. You might experience a spontaneous rise in confidence grounded in good ideas and kindness. The possibilities are limitless.
2. NOTICE OTHER HABITS:
Take notice of your non-working-out habits during the week. Hopefully the routines will set you in a super positive, sustainable cycle of ridiculously awesome self-care. The habit of moving how it feels great for you is not-so-secretly designed to connect you to yourself.
When you really see yourself, you’ll make healthier choices in your day—because you’ll notice their effects. I suspect you’ll notice positive changes when it comes to preparing food and eating well, prioritizing rest, focusing your mind, letting stress roll off during the workday, and fostering healthy relationships. The results are, of course, different for each person, but you’ll see some changes.
3. SET A FEELING-BASED GOAL:
A lot of people set goals such as “I want to work out every day” or “I want to lose five pounds,” but I find that these goals put undue pressure on you and often lead to frustration. So if you want to set a goal for yourself, set one like “I want to feel better and have less stress and more energy.”
Feeling-based goals are where it’s at. When you choose your goal to feel great, taking the pressure off those frustration-inducing goals, amazing things happen. Often you reach or blow past those goals without even realizing it—just like in the practice when we focus on the process rather than the pose.
Okay! I think that’s all you really need to know before jumping in. I’m excited for you! You’re in for a fun ride! Breathe deeply and enjoy!
To gain ease of body, mind, and life, we begin, practice, and stay on the path of ease. We can’t get to a place of ease from push, force, and struggle. This practice is designed to dissolve tension, create space, and sensitize you to feeling great so you extend that great feeling and choices into your life. Sounds great,right? Let’s begin with a breath. We will always come back to the breath for fuel,energy, relaxation, and connection. Take a big, long, deep inhale. Let your exhale be longer, fuller, and deeper. Repeat this several more times, and take notice of how you feel.
By simply bringing your attention to your breath, you become more calm, focused, and energized. By taking it a step further and lengthening and deepening the inhales and letting the exhales be even longer, you start the process of relaxation, ease, and creating space in your body, mind, and life. Take a big, deep breath and prepare to be in a luxurious process of ease.
The first thing I’ll ask you to do this morning is to really look inward. Reflect on how you’ve been feeling. The changes you’d like to see (remember to keep them based in feelings). Think about any topic that can remind you of how you feel in your life right now—your habits, your interactions with others, your outlook on life in general, your mood, your stress levels.
If you want to write down what comes to mind, go for it. I’m going to ask you to reflect on your life again on Day 7, so be prepared—either with a solid memory or a nice written
account. Now . . . prepare to get moving, feel better, and enjoy.
Take a moment to connect to your breath. Sit upright in bed, get comfy, and draw your attention inward. Spend a few moments breathing deeply.
To find out more about Strala Yoga visit my website and download the 7-Day Jump Start program. This will walk you through shortened routines of the 7-day program in my new book. Each day of the program offers 3 routines to help you breathe easy, relax, focus, dissolve stress, energize, sleep better and much more.
One of the great things about the practice of moving with ease is that you don’t need a rest day! That said, if you feel like chilling out and need a break, feel free to modify the level of activity to best suit you. So make some time to create your own space and breathe easy with Tara!
Tara is the founder and owner of Strala Yoga, widely known for its unpretentious, inclusive, and straightforward approach to yoga and meditation. Named “Yoga Rebel” by the New York Times, Tara Stiles has inspired a wide audience around the world with her healthy and relatable approaches to yoga, meditation, exercise, awareness, nutrition and every day well being.
Total Body Yoga!