Struggle and contentment are codependent — two sides of the same coin. We must struggle to live, yet we must relax to enjoy living life. As chapter 33 says, He who knows contentment is rich. How does one deal with those two tasks without feeling stressed? Indeed, trying to balance these opposites suggests how we become confused, even neurotic.
One of the most significant long-term benefits of doing Hatha Yoga daily is that it provides a field in which to simultaneously struggle and relax. Ha means sun; tha means moon; and yoga means (1) to put a yoke on (2) to harness (an animal) to (a plow) (3) to join together; link (4) to join in marriage. The word hatha yoga elegantly embodies its core purpose… the joining together of struggle and contentment in ‘holy matrimony’. I’ve found that yoga accomplishes this purpose well, especially as it evolves into a private, non-competitive, life-long practice.
Activity driven by the competitive spirit is ha biased. Activity driven by a cooperative spirit is tha biased. It seems life’s pendulum always tends to swing past the golden middle. Hatha yoga offers the chance to practice aiming for this middle. The benefit of setting time aside each day seeking this balanced middle is invaluable. Chapter 64 suggests why, Deal with a thing while it is still nothing; Keep a thing in order before disorder sets in.
They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.