Less intense

I’ve been dialing back my practice lately. A spiritual adviser told me recently that I have a tendency to be utilitarian with my yoga and meditation: I am seeking to improve my physical stamina, flexibility, mental state and the quality of my bowel movements (— just kidding on that last one). Although I don’t consider myself competitive, I know that I attack my practice with the goal of changing myself. I try to cram in pranayama, meditation, reading, blogging and journaling, and then feel guilty when I can’t keep up the pace. I’ve explicitly stated the goal of my practice in the blog more than once.

It’s like those riddles in the TV series Kung Fu; Little Grasshopper has to understand the apparent contradictions in the master’s teaching. Can I try to hard to be mindful? What if I inhale and exhale too forcefully during pranayama? Is grunting permitted in vinyasa?

So I have given myself a new goal — be more mellow and let my practice take care of the rest.