Balance is something we all try to find in our daily life.
Especially in the yoga and mindfulness community, balancing our practice and living a human (and therefore gorgeously flawed) life can be something that we work on all the time.
And this idea of balance, especially working to find it, is something that we can learn on our mat and take off our mat into the real world.
Just like in balancing postures and inversions, finding balance in our everyday life requires constant adjustments. There is no such thing as an inversion or balancing posture that is completely still. There are always small micro-movements to maintain the balance of the pose. This might mean putting more weight into the fingertips or the sole of the foot, engaging the standing leg, squeezing through the core, or lengthening through fingertips and heels. However, from an outside perspective, if the practitioner is using appropriate adjustments, the pose looks completely still and sturdy.
This lesson we learn on our yoga mat can be directly translated into the world outside of the yoga studio. The people who look like they are constantly in balance—whether that is in their diet, their exercise, their work-life balance, or their relationships—must be constantly fluctuating.
We know this because of what we learned on the mat: there is no such thing as stillness in balance, adjustments are constantly being made. No one eats perfectly all the time, no one exercises every day, and our work-life balance fluctuates and changes constantly.
The key to this knowledge—knowing that there are constant adjustments beneath what seems like stillness—is to learn to make appropriate adjustments. Just like on our yoga mat, in an inversion, for example, if you over-adjust you might end up falling over.
If we make over-adjustments in our life, we can be setting ourselves up for an unsustainable situation. Our adjustments don’t need to be large. Our attempt to find balance shouldn’t create so much pressure that we need to try hard to maintain it, but rather constantly make small and manageable adjustments in our life to create more and more steady balance in those areas.
In practical terms, this might mean taking smaller steps than we think that we should in the direction of where we would like to go.
Instead of becoming vegan overnight, for example, we might instead become vegetarian or participate in meatless Mondays. Instead of working out six days a week, we might start with three. Making these small and manageable adjustments will allow us to make huge long-term changes without completely losing our sense of center like it might if we over-adjusted and toppled away from balance.
What small adjustment can you make today to root down and rise? How can you use these small adjustments to establish more balance?
Keep me updated; I want to know about your successes!