We hear a lot about balance these days … finding your balance, work-life balance, being in or out of balance and being off-balance. So, what does balance mean? Balance is defined as a situation or state in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. Based on our personality, likes and dislikes and life situation, balance looks different to each of us.
What are the elements of your life? For most of us, we have a work-life, a home life, a social life, and an internal world. We have physical, psychological, social, creative and financial needs.
Sometimes, life feels unbalanced because we are devoting too much energy to things that don’t serve us—things that are not truly real and things that do not support us, our goals, or those around us. So while you need a steady and focused gaze on the mat to maintain balance, the same holds true off the mat. If are able to clear your head enough to focus on what is important and what you are meant to do, then you will be able to put your energy in the right places. I would like to propose to you a few areas to consider seeking balance:
Internal (Mind, Heart, Health)
Mind: Challenging yourself intellectually vs. creating opportunities for your mind to rest
Heart: Giving love vs. receiving love
Health: Eating, drinking, exercising properly vs. resting and treating yourself to some extra yummies
External (Work, Social, Family, Fun)
Work: Pushing yourself to achieve goals vs. seeing the bigger picture and enjoying the ride
Social: Satisfying your social desires vs. taking time for yourself
Family: Fulfilling your familial responsibilities vs. creating healthy boundaries
Fun: Allocating time for things you enjoy doing vs. making sure you don’t overdo it
On the mat, balancing poses teach us a few important things: strong core, strong foundation, remember to loosen up, and courage. How to apply these essential lessons off the mat, so you can be balanced?
When it comes to finding balance core is such an important part of it. Having a strong core will stabilize your structure from the inside out, giving a sense of uplift from the ground no matter what posture we are in. In life, we need to have PERSONAL CORE VALUES. Without core values, we navigate mindlessly through life.
Strengthening the foundations – something that you might think only applies to yoga, but what about strengthening the foundations of our daily life. Having those few things in our routine that bring us back to finding balance, especially morning and evening rituals.
Loosen up. Balancing on one leg requires strength, but we also need to relax and keep breathing. If every muscle is clenched, we’re actually more likely to fall over. The micro-movements and tiny adjustments are part of the pose, and we can’t flow with the breeze unless we let go of a little bit of control.
Courage. Balancing is hard, no matter when and where you try it. And the only way you are going to be able to master it is by trying. How many chances have we passed up because we are afraid of falling down, afraid of judgments or not being perfect? The people who are willing to put themselves out there and actually try are the same people who eventually find that balance and strength to push themselves further. We can only progress if we are willing to try and fail. And when you do fall? Do not take it so hard, be willing to laugh about it.
How do you find balance on and off the mat? What does balance mean to you?