I wrote an article recently for a client about the advantages of yoga for positive mental health. It discussed the benefits of breathwork, body scans, and the practice of yoga as part of a ‘lived experience’ story.
Thinking about that, today’s topic for discussion is Balance.
Fortunately, and likely due to the recent pandemic, there has been an increase in people seeking more natural and holistic approaches to manage the stresses and challenges that present in everyday life.
Anyone who has practiced Yoga will have experienced the focus on physical balance and strength as we are encouraged to move into each pose… hold it… and move into another one.
We learn physical balance techniques to increase strength and reinforce being grounded. The benefits derived continue and become a vital part of the ageing process. To support this, statistics show that a major factor threatening the mobility and independence of older people is falling and more than one in four adults 65 years or older fall each year.
So, what about the mental and emotional side of balance?
We are all humans filling our days with lengthy lists and various activities. So much so, that it can often be challenging to maintain the balance of getting things done and taking time out.
Many people will claim, ‘I don’t have time’ but if we are honest, we always make time for what we feel is a priority at any given moment. A wise woman once wrote:
We would rarely miss a night’s sleep, or eating a meal during the day, as sleeping and eating are high priorities for most of us. Other less beneficial priorities chosen could be watching our favourite TV show that happens to screen at the same time as our yoga or exercise class or simply skipping a personal development opportunity.
It is sometimes hard to accept that everything in life is balanced. Perhaps the biggest sign of an “unbalanced life” is the body’s response of the nervous system to create burnout.
When we zoom out and observe the world and all of creation, we will notice that there is a delicate and perfect equilibrium to it all. The night and the day, the old and the young, the summer and the winter, the light and the dark.
September 23rd is one of two times a year (also March 20th) when we see the delicate scale of universal balance. These dates mark the equinox, and the sun is directly over the equator. At this time, all over the world, the balance of night and day is approximately equal. 12 hours of daylight and 12 hours of darkness.
If we look at Rumi’s quote, the ultimate challenge of life is determining where the balance lies and knowing when to hold on and when to let go.
We are frequently presented with situations where we must hang on and other times release and surrender. This may be in the form of better management of personal or professional relationships, work commitments, family interactions, and self-care.
Yoga teaches us the subtle but powerful art of releasing and letting go of emotions and thoughts that no longer serve us, through the practice of breathwork, asana, and meditation. Letting go allows us to replenish drained energy and promotes clarity.
In this way, we are given the perfect opportunity to focus on what’s really important and instill precious balance in our life.
What are you holding on to that would better serve you to let it go?
This question provides the perfect introduction to another conversation where we will invite ‘The Loyal Soldier’ to join us.
Dalya xx 💙