… and with equanimity comes balance. In keeping with our April theme, balance, what better practice to bring to the table then yoga. Right?
As a yoga instructor, I felt it was time for a little yoga talk. Why do we do yoga? And how does it help us balance anyway? Let’s take two steps back first.
Yeah, something else aren’t they? Not always feeling as good as we’d like them to, eh? Or am I just speaking for myself?! Needless to say there is always, I will repeat A L W A Y S something deeper going on when we don’t feel up to par. What’s the common denominator in this equation? … That my friends is an imbalance at the root. It means something inside is getting too much or too little of what it needs. So then, what on earth do I do about that “imbalance” then? Well, we need to identify reasons, sources, and potential nutrients but what’s more – we also need to breathe, relax and feed our bodies in ways to promote balance. A great place to do this? You guessed it – YOGA.
Yoga means union at the most basic of definitions. It gives us the ability to unite and balance out the body. If you do yoga, you can probably relate – ever been in a posture that feels awesome on one side and not so awesome on other? Imbalance? Sure is. We store feelings, thoughts, and emotions in physical places in our bodies and that becomes clear when examining one side versus the other. Well, that probably explains why all postures must be experienced on both sides then. We are striving for equanimity, for balance. We are pushing our bodies to emulate the other side in an effort to balance.
Why balancing postures? Well, to rebalance. To find our center. We wobble around, fall out, get back in and fall out, all in an effort to reconnect with our own center of gravity. I love this line – “we can’t achieve harmony by remaining absolutely still.” That’s why we’ve got to move, lift, lengthen and grow. My other favorite quote in yoga – “your practice starts at the very moment you want out of a posture.” Whew, how’s that for a thought? The moment we want “out” is the very moment where the greatest lesson lies. It’s the moment where internal balance is addressed; it’s where we learn the most. Take that off of the mat and realize that the second we want to stop what we are doing out of fear or discomfort is usually the moment where the opportunity to grow exists. I love that. I simply love it. I love it so much, I’m going to stop right there.
Yoga doesn’t need to be done in studio or in fancy yoga clothes. Just stand in your living room, take a deep breath, pick up one foot and continue to breathe…. then put that foot down, pick up the other and breathe. There, that’s yoga. Connecting with your breath and your body. Beyond that, you can find great YouTube videos or awesome local studios in your area where you can learn, grow and BALANCE.
As we say…