The practice of yoga is a constant journey and evolution. This blog is about experiencing and learning through the journey. There are countless opportunities for discovery, challenge, enjoyment and comic relief. It’s a journey that will never end, always a Yogini in Progress. Enjoy the journey!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Finding Balance

Happiness is not a matter of intensity, but of balance, order rhythm and harmony.”
-Thomas Merton (monk, poet, social activist)

Hard and soft. Ebb and flow. Yin and yang. Teeter and totter. Life is a balancing act. The thing about balance is that it requires constant adjustment, alignment and calibration. Balance is important in every aspect of life; food that fuels your body, work that provides for your family, play that renews you, and faith that sustains you.

When I think about finding balance on the mat, regardless of the pose, I'm reminded that it's the minor, more subtle adjustments that are effective at bringing me back to stability. Big, grandiose movements or changes just create more unsteadiness and cause plenty of other problems. Finding balance on the mat requires strength and softness, activity and stillness, focus and release.

Consider ardha chandrasana asana (half moon pose). The bottom leg is rooted to the earth, strong and stable, creating a sold base. The hips are soft, open and effortless, providing realease and a gateway for the energy of the pose. The back leg is active and expansive. The torso is lifting and lengthening, providing space for soft, full breath. The heart shines forward as the arms and hands radiate. It is one of my favorite balancing poses. It requires balance and minor adjustments throughout the pose to feel the stability. When I can really settle into ardha chandrasana I can feel the full potential of my strength and the full comfort of my grace.

When I find that same balance in my life, possibilities seem endless. Finding balance off the mat requires similar minor adjustments and movements. There are lots places in my life where minor adjustments can have a big impact. Providing a little extra care and attention in a hug, an unexpected kiss or unscheduled date for my husband. Taking time to cut loose and play before chores or work is done with my children. Doing that one extra assignment or duty to make a co-worker's day a little easier. Smiling and breathing as my bags are inefficiently packed by a store clerk. Little adjustments and small changes can make the balancing act of life a little more stable.

How do you find balance? What adjustments or changes work best for you?


  1. Nice, Suzanne, and I love the picture!

  2. Aaah... the challenge of balance! One thing that I find helpful (on and off the mat) is the idea of letting go of the outcome. On the mat, it can be easy to focus on the result of the balancing pose, because it's so "visible" (you either balance or fall out of it). But I find that if I take my time getting to the pose without focusing on what it "should" look like, I tend to enjoy it more! I feel the same way off the mat - I just got involved in a pretty big project (for work) that just overwhelmed and paralyzed me - and I decided that I would practice the same nonattachment to the result. After that, I felt better able to tackle the job!

  3. Funny you should say that Mia. I was just yesterday taking that same approach to my blog! Thanks for all of your comments and feedback!