It seems in the Western world that effort is worshipped. We are encouraged from a very young age to work hard - that to get anywhere in life takes effort. You get out of something what you put into it.
And then today, I am doing my best to hold a pose perfectly and maximize my return on this investment when Francisco quietly tells me the less effort the better. The less effort the better? What does that mean? I'll get more out of the pose if I don't try so hard? My immediate reaction is... I really like this Kaiut yoga thing!! I mean, the less I do the more I get out of it!? Nice!
As the day went on I heard it from him over and over again. Less effort. And I came to realize that effort in Kaiut Yoga is actually counterproductive. If you are trying too hard, doing too much, then you actually get in the way of the work. You need to let the pose do the work. Let gravity do the work. Let time do the work. And so I let go and uau (wow in Portuguese), what a difference.
This got me thinking how I've been told twice in life now that I don't have enough fun. When I was just starting out in my career I worked really really hard. I wanted to be the best Assistance Account Executive my ad agency had ever had. I was going to be perfect. It came time for my first performance review and it was glowing. My boss read off one accolade after another and then, the world stopped. It had been suggested by a senior member of the company that I should have more fun at work. Have more fun at work?? This didn't make sense to me. And wasn't I fun?
Then a few years ago, I am still with the same company and attending a senior leadership course. And guess what? The one piece of feedback from my peer group was that they wished I could let my hair down (literally) and have more fun. Really? Again? Almost 20 years later and I still needed to work on the same 'area of opportunity' at work.
Apparently, not just at work either. At the end of last year, my 8 year old son turns to me with his wise old eyes and declares 'mom, I wish you would smile more'.
So yes Francisco, I hear you. The less effort the better. Obrigado.