P1000255During a beginner’s yoga session, I was struck by a phrase I don’t often hear.

Feel the sense of ease,” she said, as I was feeling quite the opposite.

My shoulders were drawn up, my body was tight. I wondered if it was physically possible to feel any kind of lightness while contorting my body this way.

I focused on it. I imagined feeling a sense of ease and even just that small mental shift made a difference. It didn’t become easy, but it did feel more comfortable.

That phrase has stuck with me. During some of my recent runs, even with shortness of breath as I climb the steeper sections, I’ve been thinking about feeling a sense of ease. I think about a sense of lightness with each step rather than straining up the incline with heavy feet. And I have been reaching the top of the hill in a better frame of mind.

As I start to feel anxiety about a complicated problem, I have been pausing to imagine a sense of ease as I work through it. I’ve been surprised at how this has reduced stress. It is also a nice complement to embracing joy, another life value I hold. Feeling joy brings a sense of ease.

How often do I struggle against life needlessly when, perhaps, a slight shift in approach could make all the difference? Feel the sense of ease.