Hermione Fairbairn: On Balance
Finding balance is central to Yoga in the same way it is central to fulfilled and happy lifestyle. 'Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance, order, rhythm and harmony' (Thomas Merton).'
However, in the same way that finding balance in life is not a static achievement, in yoga you are also continually working at balancing not on the one-off achievement of being balanced. This is constant process of regulating, reconfiguring and adapting. Working with this ongoing and constantly changing process (not against it) is essential to any success. Let each pose be a balance of effort and engagement, and softness and grace (Sthira Sukham Asanam). Find focus, relax into it then equally importantly, embrace falling and get back up...this works for life too!
Just observe how wobbling strikes the ego and draws you instantly away from your inward focus altering your mode of mind towards criticism and comparison. It feels very public, and we are quick to direct judgement. 'Why can't I do it like I did it last week?', 'What's wrong with me today?'. The point however is...'Simply to be with yourself, however you are in that moment. To smile, breathe and go slowly' (Thich Nhat Hanh).
In life, we need to mindfully and graciously accept that things change, we have a part to play in how things unfold but not control. Finding ts state of balance at any one time is not a 'forever' state. We need to let go and accept that things can't always be the way you want them to be. In more practical terms, perhaps the aim of arriving somewhere obtainable, livable and lasting is more likely to be a workable balance.
A further challenge is to balance the doing with the being. Without this, life easily gets unsteady. Taking time to be attentive, sense and really feel, has been shown to really help balance our mental state.
In our own Yoga practice, balancing on the mat helps us deal with challenges and setbacks off the mat, to bounce (or to balance!) back. This is where the real yoga begins. Hermione Fairbairn
Hermione Fairbairn teaches Yoga Flow at Camyoga. Her classes incorporate a Jivamukti flavour, elements of mindfulness practice and an eclectic soundtrack. Hermione is currently on maternity leave, but to discover Yoga Flow at Camyoga, click here to view our full schedule.