Decades ago, as a gymnast, I used to do the “wheel” pose without a thought. Now, in yoga class, striking the right balance of strength and flexibility requires greater care. My yoga teacher recently offered a trick that applies to other difficult endeavors. Here’s the tip… EVEN THINGS OUT. In other words, spread out your effort – and awareness – across all the challenge spots of an endeavor.
Anything that really challenges us to the point of feeling a strain demands things of us on multiple fronts — be strategic AND practical AND creative, be decisive AND thorough AND adaptive, be patient AND firm AND flexible.
The most comfortable and sustainable response to a challenge can be to bring at least some awareness and some effort to every edge of it, rather than force so hard in any one way that it backfires. For example, you may need to express decisiveness to send the right signals to your team about a difficult change, but don’t overdo it. Decisiveness coupled with good thorough research (justification) and agility (to course correct) will get you much farther – with less wear and tear – than over-achieving on only decisiveness. Even things out!
For the yogis wondering about my current “wheel” pose… I learned that I can hold it longer and more comfortably if I consciously scan my body and check that I’m evening out the pressure and effort across my shoulders, my back and my legs. If all three chip in proportionately on the flexibility and strength required, then none of them fatigues as fast. The same likely applies to one’s golf swing, tennis game and swimming stroke.