You will rarely —hardly ever—need to strain to do yoga asanas. Being strong is a different matter, in fact it is convenient, but strength is something you gain with yoga day after day, as you progress with your practice. With yoga you work on your strength, the strength that provides you stability, the stability that gives you confidence, the confidence which is required to develop the creativity and determination we need to better face life challenges.
We can see some examples of this need for determination in some of the inverted poses, such as sarvangasana, sirsasana, kakasana… as well as in some others which are not inverted and that in fact might seem easier to do, like vrikasana or “tree pose”. With vrikasana, we usually set the challenge in maintaining our balance. Well, although it is a balance asana, next time, instead of focusing on maintaining your balance, just try to grow. Simply focus on that. Change the word “maintain” to “grow” and put it into practice. You will see the difference. A flower’s commitment is not to maintain itself in balance but to grow towards the light, with determination.
Likewise, you haven’t come into the world to maintain balance, but to develop your inner self, with determination. This principle is valid for everything in yoga, and by extension, for our day to day life. Facing the asanas through the path of determination will help your mind and body connect. Combining determination and breathing will make you sparkle.