Finding balance in your life, in your mind, in your breath, in your personality, in your being – it seems to be something we all want. To me, it also sometimes seem like an utopia. When I find balance in part, I tend to lose it somewhere else. When I put in the work to balance one part of my being, I lose the time and effort in the other one.
However, I also believe it is possible!
“Balance is not something you can find, it is something you create” – Jana Kingsford
In your life you will always go through highs and lows. It is inevitable. We cannot control the outside world, we cannot control the actions of others and therefore we will have periods of suffering throughout our lives. It is however the balance and connection inside the Self that will determine how off balance you get. And to understand when we are in balance we have to learn where that point is.
“Don’t avoid extremes, and don’t choose any one extreme. Remain available to both the polarities – that is the art, the secret of balancing” – Rajneesh.
When we are kids we are constantly exploring our boundaries. We are figuring out our world by falling and standing up, by testing the boundaries of our parents and by making mistakes. The older we get the more consolidated and fixed our ideas, thoughts and ways of being seem to be. However, the search for balance inside continues. Over time we change and we constantly try to figure out who we really are. We dig into our past to figure out why certain highs and lows have impacted our lives, so that we can make sense of where we are now. So that we can figure out where our balance is.
In yoga we have a concept that talks about this search for balance, which is called Sthira Suhka Asanam (Yoga Sutra 2.46)
- Sthira arises from the root stha, which means “to stand, to be firm, to take a stand.” It translates as steadiness, awareness, stable and firm.
- Sukha arises from the root words su (good) and kha (space), so giving it the meaning “good space.” It translates as comfort, ease, pleasure, lightness.
- Asana is translated as posture, attitude (mental, emotional, physical), physical exercise and seated posture.
So when we translate that ‘Sthira Suhka Asanam’ means the posture is firm/steady/stable AND comfortable/ light/ at ease.
So in our practice we look to be steady and stable, while light and at ease. We are looking to be rooted and strong, while being joyful, easy and gentle. The breath is our guidance in this process, by following how it changes with each pose we can get a better understanding of the impact a pose has on us. By working on keeping the breath and the posture stable, means you are in complete focus, you are in the moment and because of that the mind is still. The mind is present.
When we learn these qualities on the mat, by focusing on the stability of the mind and the steadiness of our breath, we can take the lessons learned with us off the mat and apply it in our daily life. Being aware of when you are in a high or low, will give you insight in what you need to develop more in your life. It is a first step towards a healthy balance, and we keep on practicing until we are able to keep the balance in all parts of our life, all the time.