Elegance and grace are essentially refined expressions of poise. Poise referring not to rigidity or contrived expression but rather a state of balanced suspension where one hovers in delighted anticipation. Fundamental to yoga, poise dictates the skill with which we negotiate the forces at play in our minds and our bodies. The grace and poise of fluid movement, vinyasa, is derived from a deep sense of joy and wonder. We are most buoyant when we delight in the joy of being and cultivate a sense of inquisitive wonder. To locate joy in our practice and our life we must learn to continually let go. It’s in clinging or holding that we loose our buoyancy. Primarily we are learning to let go of fear and aggression. So we are learning to promote fearlessness and non-aggression. Fear and aggression are limited constructs of the mind. They are limited because their power is dependent on direct or latent reactions to external objects. Joy, delight and wonder, on the other hand, are dependent only on willingness. Chiefly its a willingness to consistently, honestly and gently step into the immediacy of experience. By willingly engaging in an experience without fear or aggression we are making a subtle statement to ourselves about how we choose to be in the world. This subtle statement sets in motion an internal stillness that brings with it the elegance and grace, the poise of un-self-conscious expression. “ Then we can move freely around our world without trying to change it particularly, but just expressing what needs to be expressed or uncovering what needs to be uncovered by means of our art.” Chogyam Trungpa
The principle of cultivating poise sounds beautiful and facile. However, I believe actualizing poise in ones life and practice is perhaps not as simple as it sounds. The difficulty is in beginning where we are with what we have and then not becoming complacent as we learn to refine our expression. Starting something requires that we bravely walk into a new experience...this is fearlessness. Maintaining effort over time means that we lightheartedly remain open to the possibility of starting something new with each breath...this is non-aggression. Every moment is a new space in which to explore.