An article about how to best find balance in yoga and in all the areas of our lives so that we are feeling happy and satisfied. We use our intuition as our emotional guidance or internal GPS for always returning to centre and doing what is good for us.
Yoga is essentially a practice of balance.
The word yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning to join. When we practice we are involved in a process of literally yoking up mind body and spirit so that we feel whole. Being in balance in our bodies also requires enough exercise, good and appropriate food as well as enough human touch and affection to keep us filled up with love.
So how do we live a balanced life, especially when we might be juggling a lot of things like children, full time work and other responsibilities?
Essentially it comes back, as always, to being in the present moment. There are always going to be endless ‘things to do’ until the end of our lives, because life is an ongoing interaction of our own being with other beings and with the planet. But it is also important to recognise that here in the West, we live in a very ‘doing’ society, where the underlying and unspoken message is that it is good and beneficial to be ‘busy’. That means you are important and ‘successful’. And here we always come back to the eminently sensible Eckhart Tolle who says:
Don’t let a mad world tell you that success is anything other than a successful present moment.
What about the ‘to be’ list?
What being states would we like to cultivate today? How do we want to feel on this precious day of our one and only wild and precious life?
This is an important message to unravel in order to find the balance that we seek in our lives. When we look at this widespread busy-ness message, we see that underlying it can often be a need to be as busy as possible so as not to look at the deeper things in life, like the fact that we are mortals, who are going to die, and then that little nagging question of what we are here for anyway…?
Finding balance in your life between activity and inactivity, between solitude and companionship, between caring for yourself and caring for others, might just start with taking an inventory of how satisfied and fulfilled you currently feel. If we divide our life spheres into the important ones we find:
- Physical and Mental Health
- Relationships and Friendships
- Finances and Material Security
- Spiritual Connection
- Work, Passions and Soul Calling
So we can take these six key areas and ask ourselves honestly how we are going in each one.
Are we looking after our health? Are we eating regularly and healthily?
Do you find ourselves in satisfying and mutually juicy relationships? Are we able to set healthy boundaries and fully own our yes and our no?
What about our family, do you have a healthy connection with them? Are we able to say what we want and to say no without guilt, shame or anger?
Are we looking after our finances and managing our money?
We can ask ourselves these questions, knowing that there is no right or wrong answer and no need to be at all judgemental towards ourselves if we find one area lacking in any way.
There are also, of course, seasons in our life where we focus on different aspects more than others. And this is fine too. Unless of course we are becoming so spiritual that we forget to eat or leave the house because: meditation! 🙂
Something that is important to remember when we are taking stock of where we are at and looking at the question of balance, is the question of surrender.
Practising balance and surrender
We recognise the mind’s tendency to want to know things, to want to know how it is all going to go, what is going to happen tomorrow, and whether we are doing OK. What if we could live in a more surrendered way, and enjoy the uncertainty of the fact that absolutely anything could happen? It could be something magical and wonderful? We may be offered up opportunities from left field that we could not have conceived of using only our conscious minds.
- We can ask ourselves, am I feeling like I am in the flow with life at the moment?
- Am I swimming with the stream or against it?
- Am I fully enjoying the rush in the middle of the river or am I stuck in an eddy?
- If I am stuck, what small action might get me unstuck?
It might be taking yourself for a walk, chatting with a friend, doing some yoga or playing an instrument for a while. Balance is like life, a practice of tuning in with our inner guidance system and receiving the message from our higher power, otherwise known as intuition.
Has this resonated with you? What would you calibrate differently for more life balance after reading this article?
Michelle is a writer, musician, meditation and yoga teacher based in Melbourne. She teaches mindfulness courses and leads yoga retreats. She runs her own business called Inner Alchemy and is available as a coach and mentor.