Nothing is softer or more pliable than water.
Yet it excels at transforming solid stone.
Releasing instead of forcing,
Flexibility instead of rigidity,
This path is available to us
In every moment.
excerpt from Verse 78 of the Tao Te Ching (translated by Guy Leekley)
This timeless wisdom contains a key to upholding your commitment to personal practice.
Given the nature of having a physical body, and the ever-changing nature of life itself, obstacles in the form of injuries, resistance, restlessness, distraction and more will appear to obstruct the course you’ve set toward meeting your goals.
It’s the urgent e-mail that cuts into your scheduled practice time. The injured shoulder that needs therapeutic care and not the deep backbends you planned to work on. The resistance to those 10 minutes of abdominals you’ve committed to doing.
Part of the maturity we develop in practice is learning how to respond to circumstances – both inner and outer – that arise and challenge our resolution.
We learn to hold true to our intention while being responsive enough to accommodate to the unexpected. We learn how to strike the balance of holding steady without being rigid.
The skill we develop as yogis is how to appropriately adapt, to flow like water, yielding to obstacles while continuing to steadily forge ahead toward our destination.