Yoga For the Culture: Balance

I’ve been writing longer posts than Instagram allows, so adding the full text here.

Day 3 of the #YogaForTheCulture #yogachallenge brought to you by Dria @yogawithdrialove: Half moon

How do you maintain balance in your life? In times of chaos, how do you find your center?

Going to be real with you – I struggle with this. You may have heard from a yoga teacher or just from a hunch inside yourself – your ability to stay in physical balance often reflects the balance you’re feeling in your life.

Yoga is not about ‘practice makes perfect’. The idea of perfection of yoga has nothing to do with physical form or adherence to any particular practices. It does, however, suggest a kind of perfect equilibrium of non-attachment, being neither apathetic nor obsessive, having everything imbued with the natural purpose of simply being allowed to be.

Last night I opened up a spreadsheet and made 3 lists of 27 things that are making me feel angry, stressed, anxious, depressed and apathetic… about work. In talking with my partner about the lists I realized there were whole topics I’d forgotten about. I just bought a house and am learning how to balance maintenance with improvements with my budget. Things don’t feel very balanced right now!

My center right now comes with letting myself slow down when I’m too highly revved and to get moving when I’m melting into the floor. I’m observing my relationship to avoidance and compulsions especially, and doing the challenging thing of trying to censor myself less while I’m in self-observation. It is so easy to turn to judgmental, dualistic thinking when I observe myself taking up a behavior for a quick fix instead of sitting in and through the discomfort.

This noticing of the threads of the gunas, of tamas, rajas, and sattva seemed much more theoretical to me when I first learned about them, but practicing naming the blend of these fibers to make up the moment of my experience is very clarifying. Shoveling snow and salting the sidewalk as an act of care and love rather than as an outlet for anger and rage is the difference between a more balanced, sattvic-rajasic action from a rajasic-tamasic action. This is a powerful observation practice because in any moment I can pose the question – what would make my experience more sattvic in its manifestation right now? How can I move from perfectionist thinking, to simply staying in practice?