The Law of Least Effort…The Yoga Way!

By Claire Diab and Dennis Boyle

“The Principle of Least Effort,” also known as “The Path of Least Resistance,” is a powerful principle to incorporate into our daily lives. It has changed my life in how I look, feel, and live my life. I have become more relaxed, more calm, and able to manage situations which are out of my control. I am less reactive when things don’t seem to go my way. Applying this principle each day will give you more energy and the ability to stay calm and focused, especially in the situations presented to you as Firefighters.

This month of May, we have now witnessed this powerful Principle of Least Effort in nature. Birds don’t try to sing; they sing. Flowers don’t try to blossom; they push through the hard ground and bloom up toward the sky. The earth doesn’t try to spin at incredible speed; it is the nature or the earth to spin as it does in the atmosphere.

This month, practice accepting situations as they are and notice how you can then come up with creative solutions to things you may see, as problems and solutions will rise out of the chaos. Let go of defending your point of view. You can be open to all points of views; you can still have your point of view just listening with an open mind and share your point of view without arguing…just watch what happens.

Finally, as you move through your day, remind yourself to move in a relaxed manner and with awareness of your surroundings. I know you have been trained to do this on the job–now incorporate this into your daily life! You will feel better and have so much more energy throughout the day.

Here is a flow called “Lying Down Hips Rocks,” which teaches us to slow down and be in the present. This is also an excellent Yoga pose to help your lower back and hips while calming your central nervous system.

While lying down on your back, relax your arms over your head, bend your knees with your feet on the ground (feet and knees are wide apart), gently move your knees side to side slowly (like windshield wipers on a car), and breathe in and out for 3 to 5 minutes. Enjoy!

~ Namaste ~


        — Claire


Lying Down Hip Rocks: Left and Right Sides


Claire Diab is an internationally recognized yoga therapist. She is the director of the Yoga Program for the Chopra Center founded by Dr. Deepak Chopra and Dr. David Simon. She is an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at Seton Hall University. She is the author of several books and DVDs on yoga including “Yoga for Firefighters.”

Dennis Boyle is a retired fire director and acting chief with the West Orange (NJ) Fire Department. He was the recipient of the 1999 New Jersey Deputy Fire Chiefs “Fire Officer of the Year” award.