Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Balance 2

Balance is about finding a middle ground, a sustainable center between extremes. Try imagining a place of balance by visualizing the fulcrum of a see-saw. That fulcrum represents what balance looks like in a concrete form.

When you think of balancing yourself, try keeping this image in mind. There is nothing wrong with the occasional "unhealthy" indulgence, but like with the see-saw, each motion in one direction, is liable to create some ripple in the opposite direction. Balance means finding an equilibrium between opposing points. Rather than judge your choices as "healthy" or "unhealthy", just avoid getting lost in too much of any one thing. Eat the cookie, but then, maybe take a walk or eat a carrot. When the mind dwells on a worry or something negative, notice what comes up but then take the time to look at positives in the situation, or at something that brings you joy.

Your asana practice presents a great venue for playing with balance. Focus on finding your center, that fulcrum to your see-saw. Memorize how that point feels, ground yourself there, and then experiment with moving around it. As you extend away from that point, how do you remain balanced? Notice how the lines of energy in each posture radiate around your center. When we lose track of that balancing point, we struggle in our postures: such is also true in the rest of our lives.

Today, focus on your balance and see what you discover.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Balance: Part 1

One key element of yoga is balance. Our practice can help us learn all kinds of things about becoming balanced. We can learn to listen more closely to our bodies so that we can achieve greater clarity about our needs. We can learn to find a healthy balance to our thoughts, finding what internal voices to listen to at what times.

Balance is also about making choices. It means learning when to push, and when to back off. There is the choice about when to relax and play. Balance calls for a healthy mix of doing our best, and having compassion on ourselves when times call for compassion.

Our asana practice constantly allows us to experiment with balance. Most of our postures take us in more than one direction simultaneously. We must constantly find our center between these lines of energy. We learn to balance our weight between both feet or on one foot or the other. Sometimes we invert or even balance on just our hands. By working with this balance on the mat, we begin to understand more about the nature of balance itself.

Today, notice look at balance in your practice. Play with that balance, and see what you might be able to extend into your everyday life.