Tonight as I was reviewing some yoga & yoga therapy papers I came across a yoga sequence I had written out for one of the first classes I taught. I hadn’t been teaching for long before Steve Jobs passed away and I wrote out a sequence to honor his life, his work, and his thinking. To me, his products can be described in just two words: simple. efficient.
Apple products simplified complex technology. We can send emails, video-chat, surf the web, download & listen to music, change the channel on our TVs, get directions, and so many more things all with one device. Once I found out Jobs was a Buddhist and had a strong meditation practice, my respect for him grew even more.
The sequence I had written out included many common poses, but the intentions around the poses were influenced by the thoughts of simplicity & efficiency. Holding Warrior I with Eagle Arms is simple enough for all levels, and efficient in that it works so many areas of the body. Holding Tree pose is a simple, efficient way to check your balance, see if you’re able to trust yourself to stand on one leg, see if you’re centered enough to remain solid, yet flexible enough to sway with the wind. This is how the class worked, moving from pose to pose and incorporating ideas of simplicity and efficiency. There was no worry of being “good” enough at yoga to hold the poses. There were no thoughts of needing more strength or flexibility to get comfortable in an “advanced” pose. Those obstacles were removed when the idea of simplicity was brought in.
How many obstacles or worries can we remove from our lives to keep things simple & able to flow? One of the various Jobs quotes I recited to the class was:
that’s been one of my mantras… focus and simplicity. Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.
What a beautiful thought! If you’re trying to win a sprint, it’d be much easier to run straight on the course rather than having hurdles to clear. Remove all the hurdles you possibly can with trust and love. Avoid having hurdles materialize by practicing trust and love.
You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down and it has made all the difference in my life.
Make it your intention to make life a little simpler. See if the simplicity makes you function with more efficiency. Respect the obstacles that are unavoidable and allow yourself to learn from them.
Enjoy the path you’re on…