Less is More

If we define Yoga solely as the postures, I practice three days per week, or so. If we include seated meditation and breathing exercises in our definition of Yoga, then I practice each day.

The other day I was at a crossroads in my run. I could have gone out for another 20 minutes or headed indoors for some yoga time. The latter was compelling, and I couldn�t help but notice my pace increase at the thought of some quiet time on the mat.

As I was unfolding my mat, thoughts of practice swirled: backbends, front bends, inversions, pranayama, etc.� The world (or at least my tiny corner of it) was my oyster.

After some quiet reflection, I began exploring the tiniest poses I could feel. Typically I�ll expand the poses until I bump into something I consider interesting. Sometimes interesting includes the end-range of motion, sometimes I�ll explore the limits of eccentric strength (active stretching), and sometimes I explore the movement until some sort of reactivity (tensing, clenching, etc.) appears.

During this practice, I practiced some of my regular, go-to poses: prone backbends, seated twists, and twisting variations within headstand. In each pose, I started in a relatively neutral or uninvolved position, and then I moved slowly into the poses until there was some flicker of sensation change � the minimum threshold of perception.

To the fly on the wall, this practice must have been wholly uninteresting. The twists weren�t very twisty, the backbends weren�t very bendy, and the headstand variations were a blink-and-you-missed-it shift from the plain, vanilla headstand.

After 20-minutes of this practice, I spent some quiet time in Savasana, and observed the whirling, swirling energies in my body. Interestingly, the smallest perceptible poses had an outsized effect. For hours afterward, I could scarcely believe how energized and refreshed I felt � from practicing the tiniest, barely-perceptible poses.

In Yoga, as in design, quite often less is more!

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