One of my teachers, Rolf Gates, teaches to practice with right effort: the idea that each pose (and, for that matter, each breath, each day of one's life, each action) requires only a certain degree of "trying" to sustain, and the object of yoga practice is exercising that wise, stable about of effort, and "not an ounce more," Rolf says. Also called wise effort. Very, very often, the degree of trying that is required is much, much smaller than our brain would have us believe. Learning that is practice.

I used to dance with a modern/jazz company in which the director/choreographer said, almost as a mantra, "Jazz is the plan to have no plan." (I wish I could remember or Google-find which jazz musician originally said this, but I can't, though it was someone.) This explains life and yoga. My plan is to move and listen. See what comes up, respond, or not. Move and listen again.

I love the musician Sean Hayes. He wrote and plays a mystical, beautiful song called Flowering Spade, and I've heard him play it live three, maybe four times. Each time, it's a different song and a different experience in a deep-down, of-the-moment way; sometimes it's bridge or coda is an all-together different melody; sometimes it's 12 minutes long, sometimes five. In the song, he sings, "Close your eyes, there is magic inside you." This is how yoga is to me: