If our students gather any wisdom from what we teach here at Balanced Bodies, I hope they understand that our intention here is less is more. The majority of people are overstimulated, overstressed, and overworked. The philosophy of what we do here – in the massage room, in Yoga, in Jiu Jitsu, on and off the mat – is that when we exert less, we get more out of our experience.
Instagram Unworthy Yoga
In yoga, the idea is effortless effort. You have to “do” but you can “do” without forcing or straining. When you meet yourself where your body is physically, you won’t leave yoga feeling miserable. The purpose of yoga is to challenge the body, heal the body, and transform the body. The body cannot heal or transform if yoga becomes a constant practice of overstretching, misusing, or abusing the body. Ask me how I know this… (eye roll) because I did this! I blew past all my limits and created a ton of weakness and instability in my own body, but that’s a story for a different time.
Flow State BJJ
The same concept is true for Jiu Jitsu. Our professor says “Slow is smooth. Smooth is fast.” The purpose of slowing down movements in Jiu Jitsu (and Yoga and massage) is so that the nervous system actually has time to interpret what the body is doing. That way you won’t injure yourself or your training partner. Trust me, if you have done Jiu Jitsu (or any other sport that involves competition) you have seen the guy come in with a giant ego, spaz out using very little skill and a whooooole lot of determination, only to gas out about 2 minutes into a roll. We encourage students to take it slow, learn the moves, feel the moves with resistance, drill the techniques over and over until it becomes second nature, then use that determination to smoothly train and minimize risk of injury for themselves or their training partners.
Hurts So Good Massage
We use the intent of less is more in the massage room too. Don’t let that fool you into thinking we don’t do deep tissue massage. Because we do and might I say we have some of the best deep tissue massage therapists in the world, right here in Tulsa. Here’s why. Deep tissue massage isn’t supposed to hurt.
Sit with that for a second.
Hurt “good” is different than “hold your breath and grit your teeth because you think it will feel better after.” WRONG! Hear me when I say less is more when it comes to creating trauma in your body.
Because we work with professional athletes, individuals in chronic pain, and doctors of all kinds, we have seen and heard the best results with slow, precise, appropriate deep tissue massage. Deep tissue massage can be intense or even a little uncomfortable. It might even leave you feeling a little sore after as you move from your functional state of dysfunction and back to a more balanced body but that is not the same as pain. Some people understand their pain threshold, others do not. That is why our therapists follow the less is more principle and do their best body listening to feel for what the body will allow. Again, that is a whole other blog post for a whole different time.
Doing less really gives you more!
If we take a look at our life, our habits, our mindset and start to apply the intention of doing less we will quickly start to see our suffering diminish. We can take a step back and practice being equanimous - or balanced in life, no matter what is going on around us. If we can start to exert less and stop forcing things to happen, we can open ourselves up to experiencing each moment as it is. We can experience ourselves as we are. We can give ourselves the gift of being present.
Practicing being effortless can honestly take a lot of effort because it goes against our programming, but if the results are presence, happiness, and better overall health isn’t it worth a try?