Balance is more than just physical balance!
Balancing in tree posture
Here’s a leading question – do you have good work / life balance? People often tell me that they’re so busy they don’t even know what work / life balance means, let alone achieve it, and yet I would argue that it is one of the most important keys to good health.
In my last few blogs I’ve been exploring balance, talking mostly about the ability to physically balance, but I believe there is more to balance than just being able to stand on 1 leg. The word yoga comes from the sanskrit word “Yug” which means to yoke or to unify. The whole philosophy of yoga is to bring unity to mind, body and soul, to bring balance to all areas of our lives. Balance as a theme runs all the way through a yoga class – physical movements are always done equally on each side, a forward bend is always countered with a back bend, we have a mix of physical movements balanced with the stillness relaxation and meditation, we use pranayama to bridge the gap between mind, body and soul. The aim of every yoga session is to leave you feeling more centred than when you first stepped onto your mat. At Inside Out our aim is to always leave our students feeling sparkly 🙂
I’m hoping that you’ve had chance to practice the balance exercises I’ve been blogging about and posting on Facebook and that you have found your physical balance has improved. If you’ve pacticed the alternate nostril breathing technique given in my last blog you might also be finding that your mind has become clearer, you are able to make more balanced decisions. If you’ve been quite dedicated with these practices you might also have noticed that balance is starting to come into all aspects of your life. That to me is the real joy of yoga – it’s never just about the physical moves and is why I never get bored of my yoga practice, there is always more to learn, experience.
The quiet times give us the opportunity to listen to what we really need (not just to what the ego wants), then we can choose which yoga practices we need to work with to help us return to our equilibrium, homeostasis, that perfect harmonious state our body is always striving to maintain. The key to good health.
If you get 10 minutes why not try a short yoga routine – start by standing in the Mountain, move into a side stretch, then an upward stretch. Can you add in a balance? Work with a gentle forward and backward bend such as Cat. Finish with some quiet time, and in that stillness ask yourself – what is it I need to be in good health? The answer might come immediately to you. Look also for signs in your daily of life, someone might make a useful suggestion, an interesting book might appear or perhaps a few different people tell you how much they’ve been helped by a particular health care practitioner (I’m hoping you get told about our fabulous Inside Out Dru Yoga classes!). Don’t ignore these signs, it’s your deep inner wisdom talking to you.
Be alert to evidence that you are moving back to you centre. You might find that it’s easier to eat a balanced diet. Perhaps you are making space for family or free time, away from work. Maybe you feel you need to bring balance into your exercise routine, perhaps do some more stretching or cardio work if usually you just do strength training or even start to do some exercise. Recently, I’ve started doing more creative activities, an area that has been neglected of late. My 15 minutes a day spent drawing has actually given me an extra hour in my day, because I find I am now sleeping better so I’m able to get up earlier – a completely unexpected bonus!
You just never know what benenfits your yoga practice will bring. Our mind, body and souls crave so much to be in balance, ease and good health, that if we make even just little changes, we will be rewarded ten-fold. Ix