This week’s theme in class is ‘finding balance’. Finding balance in an unstable environment, such as the ocean, such as life. We focus a lot on arm balances, core exercises and standing balances. But how do you find this balance? Just practice? Yoga is all about balance, but is anyone ever really ‘balanced’? How good a yogi you may be, doesn’t everybody lose their balance sometimes?
Well, that’s exactly what one of my fav yoga teachers says. It’s okay to lose balance. Everybody loses balance sometimes (I know I do). And sometimes you have to lose balance in order to find it again. Every time we fall, it’s an opportunity to learn. So finding balance, or staying balanced, is not the objective here. It’s about putting ourselves in challenging positions, and practice staying calm. On the mat and off the mat.
Sometimes a pose is harder and more energising, and then the challenge is to find the relaxation, the ease. Sometimes a pose is more easy and the challenge is to stay focused on your breathing and cultivate awareness.
Just like in life. You have busy times and slow times. In busy times it’s super important to stay centered and not lose yourself amidst the chaos. In slow times it’s easy to get bored or get anxious. Especially for us Dutch people, many of us find it hard to fully enjoy our free time. We have a tendency to feel guilty when we’re doing ‘nothing’.
So when do we finally find balance? Do you think that once you find it, you can keep it?
I’ve been reading Osho’s The Book of Understanding, and he says something very beautiful about finding balance:
“Balance is something that comes out of experiencing all the dimensions of life. Balance is something that happens. It’s not something that can be brought about through your efforts.
Live life in all possible ways; don’t choose one thing against the other, and don’t try to be in the middle. Don’t try to balance yourself – balance is not something that can be cultivated.
Live life in it’s totality. You will only be able to appreciate the sweetness if you tasted the bitterness. By moving gracefully to the left, to the right, in the middle, slowly a balance comes to you.
When sadness comes, you know it will pass, and when happiness comes you know that will pass too.
Nothing remains; everything passes by. The only thing that always abides is your witnessing. That witnessing brings balance. That witnessing is balance”.
So go ahead, don’t be afraid to lose balance every now and then. Just remember to keep on breathing when you fall.