The Yoga Sutra 2.47 states, "By loosening of effort and by meditation on the serpent ananta, asana (yoga posture) is mastered. "Four Chapters of Freedom, by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. Loosening of effort. I don't recall the year, but we were in Smith Rocks, Oregon. My project was my first 12a, a route called Heinous Cling. It was the day I should send (do it without falling). Perfect amount of rest before, perfect breakfast, awesome conditions. Instead I am in an argument with my partner. I picked the fight and the chances of sending are ruined now. By 2pm in the afternoon when the tightness of the earlier fight has dissipated, I go to the route just to run laps. I sent.
As painful as this whole experience was, I learned some very big lessons. First I put a lot of pressure on myself not to fail. Second, the path to success was to loosen the effort. To allow for failure meant I had an out and the anxiety could not create so much fight in me.
Climbing 5.12 is not performing an asana, but asana is merely one of many tools we have to practice this loosening of effort. We can loosen the effort around raising our children, around our partnerships, around our ability to write, or be successful in our careers or academic, athletic pursuits.
The second part to this sutra, meditation on the serpent ananta, means to focus awareness on the part of ourselves that has remained the same throughout our lives. In other words, to connect to a part of ourselves that is deeper than our intellect and our memories.