Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Balance

I read somewhere that a balanced life looks different to different people. Sounds strange, but I think we can find truth in that statement. Balance to me means enough time for each sphere of my life: family, work, yoga, and maybe some left over for me. Maybe I ought to move myself up in the priority list :) Finding balance is a challenge for most people, I hear about it all day long. We work too much, and let the demands of career overtake everything else. There's no time for exercise, no time for simple pleasures like coffee with friends, and there is never time to make and prepare nutritious food. All of these things would fall under the "me" category, I believe!
In yoga, when we are doing balancing poses, we find a steady gaze, or dristi. We keep our eyes focused softly on one point and it helps keep us upright. A single focus allows the extraneous stuff to become less of a distraction, and our minds calm, too. However, what if our focus is too one-pointed? I have recognized in a challenging balance sequence that I'm staring at the dot on the Buddha tapestry for all I'm worth. I forget to notice my hip in tree pose, and sink into it instead of lifting out and allowing some sway. Eventually it becomes more likely that I'll topple over, not less! So, I have to find balance in my focus, as well.
In real life, this can mean keeping a goal in sight, but not at the expense of everything else. We have to allow for the flow, sway with the breeze a little bit, and remember that balance is never static. In every pose, we have some movement, little corrections that redirect our energy and weight. We may appear to be quite still, but our body is always balancing effort with relaxation and finding the best way to keep us upright.

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