Jeff said something surprising on Saturday. "Stop clenching your butts," he directed the class as we stood in Half Moon. "There's no room for your spine to move if you're clenching. Learn the difference between contracting and clenching."
I spent the rest of the class trying to figure out the distinction. I continued on Sunday, and today in marvelous Brook's class, I tried some more. This is a fine line, at least for someone as uncoordinated and (previously) unaware of her body as I am.
And finding the line made every posture more difficult. It's really hard to relax your back while your stomach is held in, your thigh is lifted, and your standing leg is locked in Standing Head to Knee. But I'm sure this is what Roxanne meant weeks ago when she told me to search for the ease in each asana.
I've accepted that this work will never not be hard, but I didn't realize there would be so many different ways for it to be hard. I'm sure I'll discover more as I keep practicing.
Brook said something today that I want to have govern my practice: "Easy breath, honest effort, good form." That really says it all, and it's something I can carry into the rest of my life as well.