“Life is about balance. Be kind, but don’t let people abuse you. Trust, but don’t be deceived. Be content, but never stop improving yourself.” ~~ Nishan Panwar
In most every yoga class I’ve ever been to, we spend some amount of time focusing on balancing poses. Tree, Crow, Balancing Half Moon, Dancer, and many others. Ever since I began practicing yoga, WAY back in 1999, these poses have never ceased to challenge me. When I went through teacher training, I thought maybe I’d learn some ancient secret that would help me to move into these poses effortlessly and be able to hold them without holding my breath. But here I am, all these years later, still finding myself challenged more often than not.
It used to frustrate me, not being able to hold these balancing poses for very long, if at all. However, the whole point of yoga is to be OK with where you are at the present moment. On the mat of off, you need to be OK with whatever NOW is.
Think about it. We are always working to find balance in our lives. We get so caught up in our daily “stuff” that we forget to take time for relaxation and taking care of ourselves. We dwell on the past or focus so much on the future, and we forget about what life is RIGHT NOW.
If you don’t take the time to balance things out in your life, you may feel stressed, flustered, “off center” and unsteady. Just like you probably feel when you can’t find your balance in a particular pose in class.
There is a reason we practice balancing poses in yoga, and it’s not just so we can strengthen our core and hold funky positions for a long time. It’s to help us get comfortable with being uncomfortable, and to work towards a more meaningful and balanced life. Taking a risk, focusing, relaxing, being OK with failure, and trying new things…these are the things that will help us master these challenging poses.
Think about it. When you’re on the mat, working on a particularly challenging balance pose, you’re taking a risk, right? If it’s a pose you’ve tried already and have fallen in, you’re risking falling again. And if it’s a new pose for you, you’re taking a risk by venturing into unknown territory. But you need to test your limits, or else you’ll never know what you’re capable of achieving. Take that leap of faith, trusting that your body will do what it needs to do. If you fall, it’s OK. Just get back up, dust yourself off, and try again…maybe by modifying things in order to work your way there in a more appropriate way.
Kind of like life, right? It’s difficult for many of us to face change or to deal with something new. Many of my friends and co-workers are going through some big stuff right now…job changes, job losses, new babies, divorce. You name it, and it seems like I know someone going through it.
So this week, we’ll be focusing on balancing poses in class. Notice how your body adjusts, how your mind focuses, and how your breath flows…all in an attempt to help you find the pose. And then see if you can take that with you into your life, helping you find the balance and happiness you so greatly deserve.