The main reason of all the reasons that I practice, balance. I don’t know what route I’d take to find balance if I didn’t have this one. Feels like a big statement but I really don’t think I’d be where I am today without yoga.
I spent most of my teens and 20’s riding a lot of ups and downs, I was wild and had fun but at times my behavior was erratic and I didn’t feel good about some of my choices, but that’s normal isn’t it? I didn’t know how to change the cycle or what options I had to find a healthier mindset. I lost my way so far from the middle point of balance that I couldn’t remember what it felt like. I just thought that this was life.
The concept of balance
Balance is a fluid state and it’s influenced by our thoughts and everything we take in through our senses. You can visualize balance like a pendulum swinging. The bigger the pendulum swings, the further you are from the center point. As you become more balanced the pendulum swings become smaller so even when something draws you away from balance you’re not too far from the center. Sometimes those can be small things like taking a flight and changing time zone, it takes a moment to adjust to our new surroundings.
How can I recognize balance?
The biggest indicator of balance is being content, this doesn’t mean not ever feeling sad or emotional but generally feeling content. The swinging of the pendulum gets smaller and the root back to the center point becomes easier. Another strong sign is our digestive health (that’s a whole other blog topic!).
Knowing what balance feels like helps to recognize the feeling of being unbalanced and vice versa. By experiencing being out of balance and knowing something’s up it gives us a chance to create new habits, this isn’t a bad thing.
There is no shame in being out of balance, it’s human. Yoga isn’t about being ‘perfect’. I take time every day to be aware of my physical and emotional state and accept it. Giving ourselves a hard time or thinking we should be different isn’t helping and our guilt and shame could bring us further out of balance. Compassion is our friend here. I promise whatever you’re feeling others have felt it too.
We have an inner voice narrating our life and when we can transform the inner voice to be the voice of a best friend, we talk to ourselves from a place of love and understanding.
To be aware is useful information so we can firstly quit judging ourselves and then use tools to find our way back. Finding balance isn’t instant and it takes time, it’s a practice.
So how do I find balance?
We’re all different so treat this as your own experiment, these are the top 3 things I’d recommend reflecting on:
- Routine – what’s your daily routine? Regular mealtimes and a good sleep routine can really help to ground us. Can you imagine if the Sun decided to change it’s routine every day and how nature would be in disarray? If you’re not steady in these areas can you imagine why your pendulum is swinging out of balance?
- Yoga & meditation – taking time each day for yourself, to check in with your mind and body. Breathe a little deeper and move the body. How are you today? Can you bring forward acceptance?
- Purifying the senses – notice what you’re putting in. What are you looking at (social media, Netflix, books), what are you eating and drinking, who are you spending your time with, what are you talking about? Which things are having a positive and negative impact on you, and why?