Friday, March 31, 2006

Off Balance

This morning in my practice I was very unbalanced. I can usually do side plank pose, at left, relatively easily. But today I was extra wobbly.

Later as I was reading Sivananda Companion to Yoga I was struck by the fact that balance is not only a recurring theme in the asanas, or postures, but in the underlying philosophy of yoga itself. While reading I was reminded of the recurring quest for balance in my own life. I remember countless conversations with my friend Tiffany which would often end with one of us saying wistfully, "it's all about balance."

As I begin to delve more into the underlying world of yoga I find that it is complex and yet very simple. Thanks to Swami Vishnu-devnanda who came to spread yoga in the west in 1957, it is even easier to understand. The book says that "By closely observing the lifestyles and needs of people in the West, he synthesized the ancient wisdom of yoga into five basic principles that can easily be incorporated into your own pattern of living to provide the foundation of a long and healthy life." The five principles he sites are proper relaxation, proper exercise, proper breathing, proper diet and positive thinking and meditation.

I used to think that we are all striving for balance in our lives, but that attaining it was hopeless because as soon as we got one area under control another area would need attention. Now I see that I may be off balance currently, but that I am not destined to remain in a wavering state. Perhaps by working on the five principles of Sivananda Yoga I can finally find my center.

1 comment:

tiffany said...

oh the balance. I am heavily revisiting again also and dily the idea or the words repeat in my head. We really had a great theory of the scales of life, etc. and even with your yoga related connection and the balance of proper relaxation, diet, thinking, and exercise the struggle remains the same - displine, accepentence, monotony - maybe, I am still not sure.
I can conjur up the solution to what is out of balance and work on correcting for a few days, maybe enven a few months - but then one off day or weekend throws everything out of wack again. Why does that happen?
We have conclude that balance is not concrete or ever lasting - it id fluid and always needs tuning - like the strings on a guitar. and that takes work.
In attempt to conclude my babbling - I geuss you have to be out of balance in order to seek proper balance - to know what is off - right?