Effort & Ease

The ancient yoga teachings tell us that in each posture we should feel equal effort and equal ease. Sometimes we push ourselves into a posture with sheer determination and a force that is superhuman.  Is it worth it?  What if we soften, wind it back a little, and then reengage to a healthy degree?  Will we feel a bit better, more centered?

Life is so similar to time on the mat.  How often have you worked a little too hard at something, maybe even forced it a bit, over-doing it, only to learn that the end results are a lot more pleasant with a bit less effort?

There is of course, the flip side, not making the effort.  Sometimes we are afraid to start, to dive in, to take the risk of beginning something new.  We might even inflate whatever it is to seem insurmountable.  Is it?  What if you took those first couple of steps?  Wouldn’t you feel the ease of being more aligned with your intentions; and isn’t traveling toward your goals a form of self compassion?

I went for a walk in the cemetery this weekend and visited the grave of a beautiful and spiritual woman I once worked with.  Her gravestone read, “Love life enuf to struggle.”  I’m not sure what the misspelling or the story behind it was.  But there will always be a struggle, and we should embrace it.  Allow that effort in, and rejoice in the ease, the softening; the trick is to try to find them both at the same time.

Asparagus with Citrus, Parsley & Garlic

  • Servings: 6-8 as a side
  • Difficulty: super easy!
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Thank you to my friend, Karen, for sharing this amazing and easy recipe that is from a cookbook of hers by Mario Batali.  I recently had it at a pot luck and chased her down for it–it was so worth it!  Nothing tastes like springtime like asparagus! It’s super easy, just a bunch of zesting involved 🙂

1 1/2 pounds asparagus (I used two bunches from the store)

Zest and juice of 2 large lemons
Zest of 1 large orange
2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 T finely chopped Italian parsley
2 T fresh mint, cut into chiffonade
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Snap off the bottom of the asparagus and drop into a bot of boiling water and cook just 1 1/2 minutes or until crisp tender.

Take it out and immediately drop it into an ice bath to stop the cooking.  Let it hang out there for 5 + minutes, moving it around to make sure there aren’t any warm pockets underneath.  You can always add more ice.

Remove the asparagus and let it dry on a kitchen towel. Then put it in a large bowl.
Add all the rest of the ingredients and toss well, serve on a platter.

Sprinkle with 1 T sea salt.


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