When Trying Too Hard Gets In The Way Of Good Results

When Trying Too Hard Gets In The Way Of Good Results


So this morning in yoga I took a huge tumble landing flat on my back.

Normally this wouldn’t be such a big deal — people fall all the time in yoga — but my fall came as a result of trying too hard, you know — getting to gung-ho to go upside down.

There’s nothing wrong with trying hard to achieve, to be a hard worker is something I value. But when determination is left unbalanced, it can go haywire — stumbling from impatience to frustration and ending up as an overzealous mess.

Which is how I was in yoga this morning.

First it was in supported handstand practice. My legs kicked into the air with such ferocity that my feet went flailing against the wall, creating a massive thump. It was the kind of sound that caused others to lift their heads and see what the hell just happened.

When I went for Forearm stand, in the middle of the room, the same level of ferocity propelled my action. It was too much. My urgency to get into the balance backfired, and I landed splat on my mat.

I’m a do-er, so allowing things to be as they will doesn’t come natural. When I want something to happen, I get so caught up in my efforts that I skip the step of allowing. Even in yoga, I’ve been sitting in meditation when the rest of the class takes Savasana. It’s like I’m trying to get it all done…in YOGA!

But really, if I can wrap my head (and body) around just two things, allowing would come easier.

First, is trust.

I’ve got to accept that things will happen as they will. Many times, I want so badly to impact an outcome that I strain my energy into action. Not only could this cause wrinkles on my forehead, it could be blocking my best result. Ever heard the phrase getting in the way of your own self? It’s this! When I trust that things will work out and accept there’s only so much I can control, it makes life a lot easier… I don’t have to do it all!

Also, it helps to create the space for flow.

There’s a time to take action, and then there’s the time to let things flow– to be as they will. So when I’m lifting into an inversion I can use my energy for part of the work, and then relax the efforts so the pose can take shape. Flow is an energy– it will carry my efforts if I give it space to do its thing. I notice this with writing and my other creative endeavors. When I feel stuck from trying too hard to figure it out, to get the right words, once I get up from my desk and stop thinking — the words often come. Even if I’m just walking to the kitchen for a drink, I find that a little movement gets the creativity flowing.

I know, easier said than done. But just by being aware, the first step is already there.

How are you at allowing things to be?

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8 Comments

  1. tshen00@gmail.com' terryshen says:

    Elysha,

    Hope you are okay. I can relate to what you are saying. Inversion is the so called fountain of youth in yoga, and I have been trying to handstand for years. The limitation for me is my core not ready to control my lower body. With practice, my thump is getting softer. Nevertheless still a thump.

    I learned to accept it and not rushing it. As you said about the trust. Forcing it is counter productive. To keep my patience and motivation, I watch this youtube video by Dylan Werner:

    Namaste.

    Terry

  2. Thanks, Terry. If anything I was just shocked…falling is always so unexpected! So important to learn to accept and not rush as these are the keys to getting where we want to be –> Patience works wonders! And thanks for sharing the video– this guy is an excellent demonstration of where patience gets you 🙂

  3. girlgatheringwisdom@gmail.com' girlgatheringwisdom says:

    Elysha,
    Since I don’t practice yoga that much I will use your post as an all around life lesson. I try (most of the time) to remember that I am not always right (as a matter of fact often wrong) and therefore should not try to force MY opinion of the way things “NEED” to be done on my loved ones. When it works it is truly a liberating and gentle flowing energy experience.
    Thanks for the reminder.

  4. chloedance@comcast.net' SirenaTales says:

    Ha! How well I know this territory, Elysha. A major reason I am so drawn to this dance teacher I’ve been writing about is that she focuses so much and so clearly on balancing when to push and when to employ ease and flow. It is carrying over into my daily life, thank heaven. Yay you for being so self-aware and on the path, my friend. Thanks for another thought provoking post. xoxo

  5. GGW, I think I was inspired for the post by what happened in yoga, but it really does apply to the rest of life — to go with the flow is something we can all benefit from. That liberating and gentle flowing energy experience is a good one to share– thank you!

  6. I thought about your posts on this topic, ST. How lucky you are to have this amazing dance teacher to work with. And thank you for your kind words…it’s so lovely to find you on this path. x x

  7. sara_foley@bigpond.com' sara says:

    I was just thinking about you and BAM, here you are, talking about yoga, inversions and trying too damn hard – my favourite topics of conversation :). Firstly – a forearm balance in the center of the room. Far out. I couldn’t even dream of such a thing 🙂 And handstands are on my ‘to master’ list for this year. Headstands and shoulder stands I can do though…But that’s not really the point of your post is it? You’re talking about taking life with both hands and wrenching it into the shape/direction that you want it to be, and falling flat on your back, winded. And what you want to cultivate for yourself is grace, acceptance and that feeling of being in the flow. I’m guessing that’s why you do yoga, right? Be patient with yourself, Elysha, and take time to breathe xo

  8. Thank you, Sara. I love how you’ve summed it all up…especially adding in the word grace which is really what this post is about– to be at ease with grace. x x

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