I sat in a group yoga class years ago, eyes closed, breath even, and words whispered, “Balance cannot be taught… It must be practiced…” A light-bulb went off over my head and a smirk curled the corner of my lips. It was such a very apparent reminder of how we tell ourselves to remain even keeled but sometimes find the actual execution a bit challenging.
When I started my yogic journey decades ago, asana-ing around was a wonderful escape from performing the mundane daily to-do’s because it was new and aspirational. It was also very physical, not to mention the internal stimuli such exertion effects. Though it still carries this weight, asana has become more about self-development, as there are so many incredible variations and discoveries in the nuances of repetition that one body could ever master, even many lifetimes over. So, I continue to practice and build the connection of the mind, body, and spirit allowing the physical to moreover transform the mental. The balance comes from doing, the actual application. One can take this quite literal, which often I do, as positive tangible results yield good habits, and... I am also more aware of allowing this in the spiritual space, sending that energy into what and how I live and breathe.
Finding this balance also helps me build consistency in how I manage to work a corporate AdTech job that usurps about 50+ hours a week and still teach 6-7 yoga classes and maintain my own practice. Yes, it can get stressful and tiring, but having a hybrid of routine and being flexible in my expectations allows me to find the balance.
Asana tip: Learning balance from foundations in your asana can provide long-term benefits towards acquiring new skills. Practice vrksasana (tree pose) by grounding through the standing leg (left) as you place the opposite sole of the foot (right) into your inner left thigh. Although there is external hip rotation on the bent knee side, there is no reason to force the knee in line with the hip, a slight angle is perfectly fine. Your line of sight should be focused ahead on one immovable point, and hands can reside at the heart - palms pressing together, or overhead straight up for a challenge. Try closing your eyes for an extra test to your balance and if you fall out of the pose, do you best to find it right away. And of course, balance it out by doing it on the other side. Namaste.
The Working Yogini