I wonder what would happen if every time we encounter the difficult, a situation, person, or yoga asana, we became softer, allowing energy to shift subtly around us? Taoist philosophy is the way of water, within the pure consciousness of water we can learn to flow with life more easily. The Frederick Lenz Foundation (www.fredericklenzfoundation.org) suggests that “Water always seeks the easiest path, the common level of life. When it reaches a spot where there is a blockage, water finds the easiest path around the blockage. Or, if it can’t find a way around the blockage, it continues to assemble. The water gets deeper and deeper until finally the level increases and it flows over the blockage. It uses itself to go beyond whatever it needs to go beyond.” Eventually, water wears down even the hardest rock. Proof of this is seen in the Grand Canyon. The power of water may not be evident right away; over time, though, the massive mountain is worn away while the stream remains.

The way of vinyasa yoga, too, encourages discovering that flow, of allowing the body and breath to become fluid. How does this translate into something like Crow Pose or any of the physically challenging arm balances, for instance? With an awareness on softening the breath, softening the gaze, acknowledging where the blockage is and then increasing prana, or energy, it is possible to float into the poses and hover, take flight, and maintain that flight. We can learn to be like water, or to mix a metaphor, to ride the wind of our flight. At first this may be difficult, so we start like the stream, knowing that there is time to assemble more of our own power, to discover more awareness in our practice. Before you know it, the mountain is but a tiny pebble and your energy a mighty ocean.

The full moon is a time of transformation into new beginnings. As we enter this next moon cycle, consider softness in your challenges, the easiest path, that of less resistance, not just on the mat, but off. Peace and blessings to all!