Effort is central to all yoga practice… and this is especially true for Hatha yoga and the development of Asanas. This effort can be regarded as a combination of motivation, enthusiasm, dedication and will. Without awareness, the effort in Asana can become hardened and misguided and I think it is the ability to control and apply the effort appropriately which leads to advancement.
In exploring asana, posture has external and internal elements. The external elements are: geometry, proportion, alignment, strength, flexibility and motion – the gross elements. The internal elements are: awareness, grace, continuity of form, respectful kindness, and focus – the subtle elements.
It is when these elements are combined harmoniously and with stability that Hatha yoga elevates to a skillful art rather than a functional activity.
When practice begins, efforts are focused on the external components. This is unavoidable, and manifests as a concentration on physical resistance. Work in this area needs to develop patiently. It can take a long time…it will depend on application and perseverance…