Somehow, it seams that the yoga teachers, articles, debates and blog posts I am pulled towards at the moment often refer to the ideas of rigid structure versus freedom in Yoga Asana and in Yoga generally. The topic has probably gained interest as over the years of rigid practice (Ashtanga, Iyengar, etc.) some practitioners have noticed that adaptation and softness are needed too.
If on one hand it’s true that tapas (discipline, focusses) is needed for your practice, especially in the beginning to set a base. It takes time, dedication and some changes in order to get some results and to find ways to see things differently. But I do think it’s equally true that tapas also mean honesty and adaptation, presence and skill in the now. We will all have to adapt to our daily needs, to the form of your body and our mind in the moment. Honesty to work with what we have where we are.
This is probably where softness comes in. The structures are needed, learning them is part of the process, as for so many other forms like sculpture, fine arts, etc. But then it’s also very important to let go of this structures, find own and personal ways to adapt and, in particular, to adapt to the our personal moment. Somehow the teachings and learnings all stay and resonate also within the areas where, from outside, it looks like there is no structure at all.