Many wise men believe that struggle is good for you. Maybe they are just telling us this to try and make some light of a horrible situation, but you just have to look at the Dalai Lama und you will believe it works. At least in theory. Maybe you actually have to be a bit holy to start with.
Bikram, though nobody but himself would count him into the same category of wisdom as the Dalai Lama, believes it too. Not involving hunger, oppression, and forced migration in the struggle, hi just happens in the quaint, contained environment of a yoga mat. Which, if you do yoga, you will know, can be the most liberating of all places, but also the most scary. Quite often changing on a daily basis. He doesn't mind that inconsistency and he doesn't mind the scariness. It all comes with the struggle and struggle is good. Usually during locust he will actually animate his students to struggle harder like struggling is your new best friend. If you get uncomfortable in any posture really, well, just struggle some more and believe in the old-fashioned slogan of what doesn't kill us, makes us harder.
Another yogi friend of mine puts it a little less harsh and simply says that you gotta put in effort till it becomes effortless. On the mat or off I think that applies to almost anything in life. Some things ain’t easy and we need to work hard to get through. Which we usually try to avoid, because we like the way of least resistance. I think struggling has become a lost art in our world of 90 day marriages, 2 minute noodles, and a whole lot of general quick fixes. Maybe we should reconsider and try to relearn this art and actually bite our teeth into something else than a fast-food burger.
Instead of letting it all go and having it easy, maybe we should struggle a bit harder? After all the Dalai Lama is quite awesome, so wouldn't it be neat to be a bit more like him? Or at least manage a perfect locust one day?
In case you do wonder what brought on all these questions and less than happy thoughts… it wasn’t my perfect locust posture. I have just struggled a lot lately with life and on the mat and am trying to make sense of it. My yoga practise always seems a nice metaphor for what is going on in my life. Yesterday again I had such an intense class, my blood felt it was boiling and I could hardly lie still for a breath or two and I really, really struggled. Thinking about it and how it made me feel, I realized that it might not be a bad thing. That in fact a bit of struggling might just be exactly what I need to bring out some good – on my mat and off.