January 21st, 2019
Balance is defined as a condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions. This is Webster’s dictionary’s idea about balance. Put plainly, balance is knowing when to switch things up. Finding balance is a tricky thing to navigate in and out of your practice.
In today’s modern yoga society with it’s constantly growing media popularity, one might characterize balance as standing on your chin or some other random body part while in a full inversion, while smiling and not sweating. The same myth goes for being flexible equated with being able to touch your toes. Although tricks are quite fun, most times, that’s simply not the reality.
We get caught up in this idea of balance as being able to reach the highest level of physical intensity in the practice, fostering a sense of achievement that releases a good amount of dopamine. Great feeling, I agree, but not the point.
DARE TO TAKE THE BALANCE CHALLENGE
Here’s a challenge: donkey kick over and over against a wall practicing handstand… How fun? Right? Ready for challenge number two? Of course you are: try seated forward fold for 5 minutes. Not as exciting? Why not?
Our society pats us on the back for working 60+ hours a week, for juggling multiple jobs and school, and for challenging ourselves to constantly do more quickly. The faster you reach a goal, the better. The quicker you’re done with a task, high five.
When is the last time your boss, significant other, or best friend gave you a metaphorical gold star for going to a spa, taking a nap or taking a day off of work to relax and reset? When we lose touch of maintaining equilibrium in our lives it is easy to feel overwhelmed, emotional, and just plain tired.
Get where I’m going here? Balance isn’t about doing what we think we need to do or becoming hyperactive. Balance IS NOT, I repeat is not going to a Vinyasa 2 class every day and getting a great workout; No disrespect if that’s your prerogative.
Instant gratification perpetuated by American society has led to an illusory nature of balance in our lives. Balance is often mistaken with the feeling of achievement, like when you get an A on that paper, a good review at work, or finally nail that headstand. This feeling of success is short term. Finding balance means complimenting the already existing facets of our practice, and our lives.
If you’ve got a great Vinyasa flow and you’re proud of all the inversions and intense balance poses you can hold for minutes on end, yet you’re still searching for something in your practice, try a restore class, yin, or vin 1 class. Forewarning: If you are a vinyasa-esque yogi, these slower and more relaxing classes will probably present themselves as quite a challenge for you. Just as we challenge ourselves in motion and strength, we must challenge ourselves in stillness and practice relaxing the mind.
Not changing things up can convince us that we know all that there is to know, which is far from the truth. Even your teachers, yes your teachers, that spew out philosophy from all the yogi gurus around the world do not know all there is about yoga. What they do know, is that they are just scratching the surface and there is more to learn than we can possible imagine.
Having trouble switching up your routine to find balance between movement and stillness in your practice?
Here are some classes that might be of benefit to you at the studio this week:
Monday night- 7:00 PM Release and Restore
Wednesday night- 7:00 PM Candelight Lunar Flow
Friday- 12:00 PM Restore Flow
Saturday morning- 9:15 AM Kundalini Flow
We can’t wait to see you!
To reserve your spot for any of our classes, download our free app here.
Written by Meraki Teacher Aliya Gorelick
Join Aliya for class Wednesdays: Vinyasa Flow 2 at 4.30pm & Saturdays: Vinyasa Flow 2 at 1.30pm