Finding ease through effort

I was at yoga last night for a Yin class. Yin isn’t always comfortable but it is relaxing. There’s that fine line of finding your edge in the pose (stretches) and staying there for a good while (sometimes 5 minutes or more). It’s the balance of finding ease through effort.

The teacher last night described it as trying to disconnect from the effort. The attempt to relax and submit your body to whatever the pose is whilst you are also at the edge of your stretch. It can sometimes be a difficult balance to find. Its kind of a life thing too.


I usually go on a Sunday night when I’m already relaxed from the weekend. So this was different. Having worked right through from last week, a Monday night before my cheeky wee Tuesday off, really confused my body.

I know that my muscles are more often in a state of tension than they are in complete relaxation. Ask my Thai massage lady (Sue…literally the best and I really hope she comes back from her winter break in Thailand soon!), or the weird physio I saw for for an injury last year.

Its probably a work thing. But I don’t notice the possibility that my muscles are in a state of hyperarousal. Its functional as a response to some environments but it feels like a relaxed norm. I don’t know how to fully describe it but I only notably notice my difficulties in moving from tension to relaxation if I am lying on a beach (Carribean or Koh Samui preferably) or if I am in Yin. On a beach I get the difference, in Yin I have to consciously submit my muscles to relaxation then try and be in the stillness. I can do this on a Sunday. A Monday after a run of work…clearly not!


Last night I was present and I was on my edge. This wasn’t hard to get to given it was hip opener and hamstrings as a focus. My hammies are not the most flexible. I wasn’t balanced though. My body felt different in every area and on both sides. I know this is likely to be the case usually; in Yin it is so noticeable. I couldn’t let my quads go in forwards folds, my glutes in frog. Its not like they are brilliantly toned and lovey muscles…they are just tense.

Maybe its just a representation of the last few weeks. No matter the reason it doesn’t matter. I got my body last night, I worked with it and got some stillness. Some ease in the effort. Some relaxation. A Monday night relaxation. Its different to my Sunday night relaxation but my Tuesday off long lie was worth getting to.

*The header is a photo from a holiday in Koh Samui a couple of years ago. It was beautiful there.

Sunday’s are for yin

Sunday bliss doesn’t come from being busy. When the sun is out and the days are getting longer my idea of a great Sunday is spent lazing, pottering, doing a little bit of gardening and then strolling to yoga for a bit of yin bliss.

The relaxing bits

Sometimes Sunday’s are spent strolling around the new town or along to Stockbridge but today I just donned the flip flops and light clothing to sit in the garden. After a little trip to Tesco to get a few essentials I grabbed my book and water and sunglasses. Light reading today – ‘Crazy Rich Asians‘. A really fab book to remind me of sunny days on my holidays to Asia (minus the crazy rich folk). It’s well worth a read and the film is also great.

The neighbours are out too so my day reading is interspersed with a bit of good chat and a few snacks.

The booking

Done, the notification beeped to say there was a space for yin yoga. A delight of a class and whilst there is an edge to the long held stretches, it prepares the body and the mind for a kind of serene calmness that takes you into the evening and then to rest.

So I now have an hour or so to wait. I’ll water the growing veg then grab my mat and go. I’m already looking forward to the shavasana.