Why You're Making Arm Balances Hard + How To Make Them Easy

Sometimes the best way to do something hard isn't to attack it head on.

There's another way. Think of it as "surrounding the dragon." Dragons are big! They have sharp teeth, and breathe fire! A dragon is not the best thing to attack. So instead, try walking carefully around your dragon. Get to know it. Bring it food and water and whatever else dragons like. Soon enough, maybe you won't even need to attack this dragon. Maybe you'll just be friends.

Same principle works for your body — for your athletic endeavors, healing injuries —and in the rest of your life, too.

Hard things get easy when you stop gunning for hard things and start working peacefully with you, right where you are. If we're always struggling with hard things, then hard things will always be hard. Practicing struggle, we get awfully good at struggling. So here's another tip for making hard work easy:

Work less, play more. Especially while you're working. (Hint: you can practice this in your yoga!)

When something is hard — like an arm balance in yoga, for example — rather than pushing and jumping and struggling against it, stay where you're relaxed, easygoing, and playful! Gently explore this hard thing. Get to know yourself.

Soon enough, you'll have made friends with your body. You won't need to go to war with you (or with anything) to accomplish hard things. Hard things just won't be hard any more.

Ready to play? Jump in and have fun.

Michael Taylor

Co-Founder Of Strala Yoga & Tai Chi Expert
Mike Taylor is the co-founder of Strala along with his wife, Tara Stiles. He studied mind-body medicine at Harvard and complementary medicine at Oxford. Mike has practiced Eastern movement and healing, including tai chi and qigong, for more than 30 years. In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. His record established the strength of finding your own way in your own body rather than copying the techniques of other people’s traditions. As he got older, Mike continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the United States and England, he left his health care roots for a little while. As the first internet boom was getting started, he joined the startup team of one company, then founded a couple more. Now through Strala, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, enable their lives, and become their own best caregivers.Mike has climbed some of the world’s largest mountains in Alaska, the Alps, and the Himalayas. He’s now a cyclist and runner and spends as much free time as possible exploring the backcountry on foot, skis, and snowboard. He lives in New York with his wife, Tara, and baby, Daisy.
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Michael Taylor

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