Deeper Balance is Possible
I couldn't have agreed more. I have been teaching yoga for over ten years, practicing daily for twelve, and there are times I still get really mad, or feel anxious, or wonder how I'll balance events of my day.
I do recognize, however, that practicing yoga over the long term has allowed me to feel much more balance in my life than before. It is easier for me to recover when balance is lost and there are now practices, tools, and a community to support and encourage my balanced sense of being.
One of the most fundamental gifts that yoga has offered me in terms of balance is the recognition of where not to put the fulcrum. Patanjali's Yoga Sutras, the first written record of yoga philosophy state that "the goal of yoga is to cease to identify with the fluctuations of the mind." Nowhere does Patanjali write that the thoughts will stop fluctuating. It is our awareness that needs another place to seek rest--somewhere beyond our thoughts, somewhere besides conceptualization.
So if not with thoughts, where do we set the center point, the fulcrum, of our balance?
I believe the answer to this question is as individual as each of us. This place beyond thoughts, beyond concepts, is an experience that is deeply personal and one that each of us must know for ourselves in order to feel the sense of being that exists beyond thoughts. The Persian mystic poet, Rumi, described this: "Beyond the ideas of right and wrong, there is a field. I'll meet you there."
Yoga practice provides the opportunity to give us a glimpse of this space. We become open to this experience through mindful awareness of the breath and body, journeying inward beyond fluctuating thoughts.
Deeper balance is possible for each of us, provided we shift our place of balance beyond conceptualization into experience. Yoga can be a very useful tool for navigating our way into this territory and I will be forever grateful for the gifts my practice has given me.
Hope to see you in the "field" and to meet you there...
Lisa Rockenmacher, E-RYT500