The Simplest Ways of Attaining and Maintaining Life Balance

Recently we had the third of three super moons (closer to earth than normal) all in a row. It was an Aquarius moon and the sun, moon and earth were all in direct alignment cueing us to find alignment and balance in our lives.

yin yang moon - The Simplest Ways of Attaining and Maintaining Life Balance

We can start our quest for balance by simply drawing our attention to our breath, notice the style of our breath, is it irregular or fast. Sit with the breath and gently guide it (pranayama) to a smoother, more harmonious flow.

In our yoga practice we can also work at aligning our attention to our intention; to find and maintain balance. We can notice in symmetrical poses, if we have equal distribution of weight in our foundational structure (what is rooting to the earth). Are we lifting out of our hips evenly to create lift and length on both sides of the torso?

Does the pose feel harmonious; is there a blend of sthira and sukham? Patanjali described yoga asana as “Sthira Sukham Asanam” or ‘a steady, comfortable posture.’ Sthira roughly translate as steady, stable, and motionless and sukham as being comfortable and ease filled. Achieving steadiness and ease in each pose requires an amalgamation of effort and surrender.

Sthira and sukha are opposites and these opposites according to Taoists are known as Yin and Yang. They believe that all things exist as a contrast of opposites and that these complimentary poles define each other. By working on the concept of opposites we can learn about finding and attaining balance through our yoga practice and in our lives. It has been suggested that the way we practice yoga mirrors the way we live our everyday lives. Yoga generally encourages awareness, and it is through this awareness that we can create the change needed to find balance in our lives.

Attaining and maintaining balance is integral to all our lives and something I definitely needed to work towards to find peace in our household when raising two young boys (one with Tourette Syndrome) many years ago. Attaining balance was achievable but maintaining balance was a different kettle of fish, heck there wasn’t even a gender balance in my life back then. My husband and I raised two boys and a stubborn but loyal male dog, I had four brothers and my husband had two, the scales were definitely tipped towards yang.

Raising children is a very time consuming, exhausting, but vital role and it is therefore crucial the care giver has adequate rest if family harmony is to be sustained. We don’t need to invest in rest just for the physical body; we also need respite for the mind if we are to find mental steadiness and emotional stability. When raising young children there can be very little ‘me-time’, I found solace in a hot bath with spa jets! Also time away once a week at the gym (later the yoga studio), and visiting girlfriends helped ease some tension.

Now that my boys are happy and healthy young men I finally have more me-time and as for the gender imbalance, the scales became more level when my husband decided to leave our family and not long after we invested in a beautiful, female Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.

Me-Time these days involves walks along the beach with my four legged delight, Kobriana (Kobe) and a regular yoga practice is my consolation. I find a one hour meditation (Holosync and/or Omvana) important to my state of equilibrium and my asana practice will reflect my needs of the day. Some days I practice a strong Power Yoga style, other days Yoga Therapy (working on a present ailment), a restorative yoga practice, pranayama (breath-work) or Do-In (self-massage). We all need to find a balance between work and rest, giving and sharing no matter what path we have chosen.

“In the Native American tradition… a man, if he’s a mature adult, nurtures life. He does rituals that will help things grow, he helps raise the kids and he protects the people. His entire life is towards balance and cooperativeness. The ideal of manhood is the same as the ideal of womanhood. You are autonomous, self-directing and responsible for the spiritual, social and material life of all those with whom you live.” ~ Paula Gunn Allen

No matter what cultural background we explore, we all have the same thing in common; a desire for harmonious relationships and life. If we can’t maintain equilibrium then peace, harmony and happiness collapse like a punctured accordion leaving us feeling frazzled, depressed and unwell.

What do you do to find inner harmony in your life?

Article by Martine Ford