Yoga develops your ease in precarious situations. Our true point of focus becomes apparent when we explore balance poses. It is easy for us to suddenly become aware of other people watching, begin to judge our actions, compare our success with those around us, etc. For most of us, the challenge of balancing is confounding and not at all easeful. This can be said about many postures in yoga. And yet ease is a fundamental element of a yoga practice. Far from lacking ambition, not trying, or laziness, ease is actually cultivated by practicing with constant attention and focus. When ease is developed in a pose, there is an opportunity to explore even further on what becomes a limitless journey toward unfolding the inner self. Modifying and conserving energy through an intense practice can offer expansion in your general expression of poses, allowing you to express poses more purely than if you are continually at your edge. Practicing to develop ease challenges our tendency toward vanity in physical practice and reminds us to monitor sensations in our body and gauge our practice accordingly.
I love that my Sanskrit teacher, Manorama, calls Sanskrit the luminous language. In my twenties I came to the conclusion that our language was embedded in our culture, was embedded in hatred, domination, lies, violence, and ultimately fear, and therefore we needed to create structural change by retooling language. Singer Tracy Chapman apparently felt the same way and released "New Beginning" in which she literally called for new signs, symbols and language. And yet, here was this realized, liturgical, luminous language which has mathematical resonance already waiting for our study and use. Sanskrit mantras are powerful tools for positive change. I choose to remember how potent this language is in supporting the expansion of peace and harmony on the planet. Each mantra is a prayer, an offering, an invocation for positivity and growth.
Many practitioners and teachers of yoga hesitate to use sanskrit, often due to difficulty with pronunciation. Here is a link to just one of Manorama's resources on pronunciation of key yogic terms. (She has many to choose from).