Life is a balancing act. In modern day life, most of us strive to achieve everything in balance: we aim to create enough time and energy for our work, friends, family, hobbies, social life, rest, and play. Things aren’t always easy but there are steps we can take to help balance out the distribution of our devotion.
When we are imbalanced, we suffer mentally and physically. Yoga aims to bring the body, mind, and spirit into balance. Yoga translates into “union” (of the body, mind, spirit, and breath) and it helps to bring harmony and balance to all our elements.
Regarding balance, breath can help keep us in balance but your breath should also be in balance. Our emotions affect the strength of our inhale and exhale. Fear can stop the breathing and anxiety can quicken the breath. Having breath balance is having life balance.
During asana work, we sometimes notice ourselves being out of balance physically. If you are finding yourself unable to stop wobbling in tree pose or a little unsteady on the feet in Warrior I, don’t worry. When we are off-balance emotionally, we often find physical balances difficult.
If you are falling out of your balance poses take a moment to reflect: were you really there, present in the moment, focusing completely on the pose, or is there something on your mind, are you feeling stressed or anxious that could be affecting your balance physically and emotionally?
Yoga should not be about balancing our practice, but finding a practice that balances us. If you struggle with certain poses your body is telling you that not enough of these poses are in your practice, showing an imbalance in both your physical and emotional pathways. Practicing those challenging poses can help you to balance both within your yoga practice, and as a person.
I personally have been working on finding a balance within my life. It is something I have struggled with for a long time. Through yoga, I have created awareness and taken measures to strike a balance between work, relationships, a social life, and “me” time.
- Sarah Moyer, Yoga Instructor & long-standing member at Healthletica