Balance is so hard. SO hard. It doesn’t really matter what we’re talking about.
For me, balancing on one foot is hard- changing my gaze...harder…taking anything away from my midline- forget it. I’m probably going to fall with a little less grace then I’d care to admit.
Balancing commitments is also hard. Like many yoga instructors, I wear several hats (tank tops?) at several different locations. Varying roles, responsibilities, spaces and hearts to hold. When life feels unsettled, what comes last? My stuff- ahem…my blog missed October. (Happy Belated Columbus Day and Halloween). When I had a chance to write this past weekend, I actually thought to myself…lets go with a clean slate in November.
I always try to speak from personal experience, so here’s what happens when balancing gets tough for me. Lets talk yoga…
When I’m balancing on one leg- I do the things…I push my standing leg into the floor so I can stand up towards the sky. I find the four corners of my feet and attempt to connect them with the ground below. I try to bring everything towards the midline. I try not to rest in the back of my knee. Then I usually get excited. I want to bring my arms out or look to the end spot of the pose (which is likely NOT down at my foot). And here’s where things go awry.
Annnnnnd….tip, toe down, pop back up, toe down, pop back up, toe down, tip, toe, tip, pop, BAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHH. I’m frustrated.
When I’m balancing commitments- I do the things…I write it all down so I know when to be where. I try to bucket my time so I can really be in the space. I attempt to work thematically each weak in all locations, creating a red thread of language and ease for me as I instruct and speak. Then I usually get excited. I want to be in all the places all the time And here’s when things go awry.
Annnnnnd…..whoops, today I really want to teach this instead, today I’ll sub an extra class, today I’ll accommodate a schedule, WOOOOOOOOOOSHHH. I’m tired.
I have a willow tattooed on my side- to remind me to be flexible and that if I bend I will not break. I live by that mantra, but bending doesn’t equal balance.
If I want to get better at single leg balance, I need to practice single leg balances- plus all the building blocks. THEN work incrementally to find the full expression of the pose. I’m not someone who's able to jump to point Z. I need A-Y first. That’s me. Doesn’t make me a worse yogini. And I have to remember that.
If I want to be the best version of myself in the studio, with my dear clients and at home, I need to hold myself accountable to a schedule- knowing full well that the willow bends and also recognizing that I’m not someone who can go from A to B to C to M without paying for it...somewhere. Balance also means rest. Stepping back. Evaluating what I can do vs. what can I do without depleting all I've got.
And looking like this...
Balance is hard. I know. I struggle too.
But I think if we bring some gentle attention to it...pick your poison: push your standing foot into the ground...or say no to an extra commitment in a moment you'd usually say yes. I think we have a chance and finding some more ease.