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Moving With Less Effort

When we see athletes perform at the top of their game, we marvel at their ability to move in a way that seems almost effortless. We watch them find their zone and everything falls into place with ease.

Somehow – in the midst of movement – they appear to be relaxed.

What if we could do that too?

What if in the midst of simple movements like walking, twisting, bending, reaching, lifting or just breathing – we could be relaxed? What would that feel like? Can you imagine it? Try it out.

If you don’t know where to begin – start with becoming aware of your breath as you read this. Just observe the breath without trying to change it. Notice what moves in your body as you breathe normally.

Next see if you can become aware of any sensations in your body. Imagine relaxing into the sensations and being fully immersed in them. As your awareness deepens you’ll notice sensations dissipate and then a new layer of sensations arise. Relax into that and watch the cycle continue.

We practice doing this in yoga and in meditation. It’s a skill that deepens as you practice it.

Once you can do this while sitting in meditation, or while doing yoga, you can take these skills into simple movements in your daily life.

Test it out:

1. Can you stand at a sink and wash your hands while your body and breath are relaxed?

2. Can you walk to your mailbox with your body and breath relaxed?

Start small. Then see if you can add this to other everyday movements.

In yoga we call this “Effortless Effort.” It’s a great skill to cultivate.

~Sue Conklin

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