One simple idea that could change how you change the world


I used to use my yoga practice as a means to prove myself. I would practice six days a week for two hours. I would feel good about myself when I really went at it 100% full force. But I would feel bad about myself when I felt I couldn't meet that high standard I set.

I went to a week-long yoga training with David Swenson and was expecting to come out...better. Better in a way that I could finally say I had proved myself.

But I ended up coming out of that training with something so much better than that. The key learning I got?

Engage where necessary, relax where possible.

When he said it our second or third day of class, it hit me like a ton of bricks. At first I was confused. You mean I don't have to strive so hard to perfect? But the great thing about the yoga practice is that it's not just in your head, it's an experience in your body. And I knew this bit of wisdom was what I really needed to practice. 

Swenson went on to say that in any posture, it's ideal to go to 80% of your limit. Not 110%. Not even 100%.

"Go to 80% of your limit and you'll find your edge, without going over the cliff."

Like many people I work with, I have a tendency to overextend. To want to give more. To do more. To BE more.

In my life, I've found myself whiplashing from putting out so much energy that I end up doing nothing in an attempt to recover from burn out. "Engaging where necessary, relaxing where possible" is a practice that has changed the way I live, work, and relate to others and myself.

Instead of "doing all the things," I practice focusing on the most important tasks and actions that provide the greatest return.

Instead of trying to get my partner to do what I want him to do, I practice recognizing that I just need to be in charge of my own space, not his.

Instead of believing that I need to scour my internal and external world for the "answer," I practice being aware and letting things come to me. 

This is one of those teachings that is simple to comprehend and challenging to implement. In the midst of what feels like chaos, pressure, and a strong desire to create our dreams, it can be hard to remember, let alone practice, the sayings that apply no matter the circumstance.

Which is why I like this particular one. It's a mantra. A simple thing to remind yourself every day as you build what matters to you. 

Engage where necessary, relax where possible.

Take the right as they say in the yoga world... "practice and all is coming."