Tricky, eh? It shows up in the self-help mantra: “I am enough” and is a defining principle helping us get out of difficult situations, finally: “I’ve had enough!”
In yoga practice, enough as an ongoing inquiry can be the path towards observing and extinguishing unhealthy habits and be an essential stepping stone towards the cultivation of contentment. Like all spiritual practices, it is the capacity to stay with the question as we practice – and as we live – that creates the transformational growth.
The inquiry is designed to highlight one’s effort in any endeavor: asana, breath, life. Effort has been described as the wheel in one’s chariot; that which literally moves us forward. Too much effort and we may skid right off our path, too little, and stuck we stay.
In our culture, I think we can agree that we are coaxed towards wanting more, more, more! Whether material objects, advanced degrees, or personal titles we are trained to collect increasingly and even hierarchically to prop up our egos. This habit is one of the most entrenched obstacles to the inter-connectedness and sense of one-ness that yoga promises. We learn that to strive and effort towards these exterior and ego-based goals, until the habit of being effort-full is unconscious.
To bring this process to conscious awareness, for me its the ‘how” of effort-ing, as much as the how much. The more mindful I can be as I walk the path, the more targeted, meaning specific, effort I can use, and perhaps paradoxically, the less I need. To bring to awareness and choose when and how to effort, and to balance that with acceptance and patience is to follow a path that leads to a feeling of peace — and a healthy asana practice too.
Walking the path with you and other committed yogis, seems to illumine the way, and in a very real way smooth out the ruts in the road. Together, we travel further, and with more intelligence and less effort.