Blessed are the Balanced
Affirmation: I am fully
aware of the importance of maintaining a healthy balance.
There are the obvious asanas that offer the yogi the opportunity to
practice balancing: head stand, dancer’s pose, warrior III and the classic tree
pose to name a few but unless one is lying on his or her back or stomach, balance
is always involved in a pose, just like in life. We then have the opportunity of taking our
balancing practice with us out into our day and into our world. What does it mean to balance? Is one ever balanced or is there only the
practice of balancing?
required or desired in the past. I’ve
spent a great deal of time at the hospital, the rehab and on the phone or the
email connecting with caretakers, family and friends. I’m happy to do it. I love her and am pleased to have the
opportunity to do whatever is necessary to be of service but life has been
extremely full. I now have the
additional activities required for this care-taking and my normal full
life. When I was guided to do tree pose
in a recent yoga class, I immediately placed all my weight on my right foot,
the soul of my left foot against my inner thigh and chose one spot on which to
focus. I then put my hands over my head
and became a tree. I’ve done this
hundreds, maybe thousands of times. I
was then guided to switch sides. I
couldn’t do it. My left leg would not
hold my weight on its own. I needed
help. I went to the wall in order to
maintain my balance. The imbalance of my
life at the present time was reflected in my yoga practice. I was stunned that the imbalance in my daily
life was so glaringly presented to me in my pose. I didn’t feel too worried about it because I
recognized that while I was out of balance at the moment, I was now fully aware
of it and I needed to attend to whatever it would take to help me level out.
community service, calories in versus calories out, time alone and time with
others, spending and saving money, exercise and rest. The list can go on and on. I’m sure you can think of a few, perhaps some
on which you’ve been working. One
challenging part of achieving balance is it’s so personal. What is good for one
person may not be true for another. Like
any life skill one is trying to improve upon, the very first step is awareness,
actually recognizing when you’re out of sync.
Another factor is the time frame it’s placed within. Are we looking to be in balance every moment,
every day, once a week or are we content to look over the whole year and think
something like, “I worked hard for most of the year and now I’m going to
take it easy for the end of the year.”?
specific weight we are trying to maintain.
Every day we make choices and each choice will lead to a better balanced
life. When we are watching our calories
you can have a heavier day one day and a lighter one the next day to balance
out your intake or perhaps you are fairly conscientious during the week and
that allows you to eat a little heavier on the weekend. If we take it one step further, perhaps
you’re fairly restrictive most of the year but let yourself relax while you’re
on vacation or at a celebration. As long
as you can maintain your healthy weight, it doesn’t matter how you do it but
you’re going to have to balance out those calories or your weight will either
climb up, or get too low. It’s no
different with anything else to which you want to bring balance.
volunteer work. She was determined to
become more faithful and with that she decided to spend more time at her church
and then that became even more time.
Finally, she was at the church all the time and her family and her work
were falling apart. She couldn’t figure
out what was wrong, if anything, because she was sure she was following the
better path to God. Before her world
came crashing down upon her, the parish priest counseled her to look at the
imbalance of her life. She examined her
priorities, made several changes and saved herself. The path to holiness
requires that we attend not to just the spirit but to the mind and to the
body. That means the path to holiness
requires balance or at least an ongoing attempt at balancing.
place one foot gingerly and mindfully in front of the other. It takes practice. It takes the lessons from the yoga mat and
from wherever and from whomever we can learn them. Perhaps with enough practice one will even be
able to stand on one’s head. If not,
perhaps at least on one foot at a time, or even just both feet without toppling
over. The following week I took some
extra “me” time and when I returned to class I once again was able to
become a tree, on the right side and, on the left side.