The Hard and the Soft

There are two terms in yoga sthira (strong, hard) and sukha (soft, ease) that translate to how we should approach life.  For so long the sthira, the hard, has been my jam. I work physically hard with exercise and am hard on myself.  But what I missed most in the past was the sukha, the soft.  Last Fall was perhaps one of the most transformative of my life.  I was dealing with some very high highs and some very low lows.  In the midst of my mini crisis a dear friend asked me “where is your yoga?” It was almost mind blowing how much I needed that question.  But mostly it was the answer that was mind blowing. It wasn’t in my life. I was back to just all hard. I ran and trained for a full marathon, I trained and competed in my first crossfit competition.  I was all hard all the time.  And sadly I didn’t allow myself to bask in the glory of any of it. This mentally took a toll on me and I was seeking some relief from it and for me that turned in to some bouts of heavy drinking.  The question of “where is your yoga?” was the question that made me pick up the pieces and move forward learning about a life where alcohol wasn’t a major player. It has been over a year for me since that crisis and so much has changed.  I found yoga again in a massive way and that has allowed me to find so much more soft. So much more kindness to myself and my abilities. So much more self love.  We all need to find the balance of hard and soft in our life and the yoga mat can provide that. But it isn’t all about the mat, its about the movement, the breath and the mindful focus. I encourage you to find some places where you can be more soft in your life