PŪR Yoga Toronto’s theme of the month for March is “balance.” We asked our teachers to reflect on what balance means to them in their yoga practice, and here’s what they said:
“To me, practicing Yoga is all about welcoming “balance” into our lives. When we move in one direction all the time, we can lose our sense of balance.
Balance is about finding that sweet spot between ease and effort. Where you find yourself going “ahhhhh,” and giving yourself permission to let down your guard.
Similar to when you are in Tree Pose, and we try and stay strong and tend to stiffen up and then we forget to breath. Instead of having a soft anchor knee so we can sway with the winds that breeze by us.
Or when you are attempting crow pose and reminding yourself to not try so hard…inviting flexibility and a more playful attitude to welcome…ahhhhh, balance.”
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“I thought of pranayama rather than a pose. Nadi shodhana is the alternate nostril breathing that brings harmony between the left and right energies of the body (feminine/masculine, yin/yang, lunar/solar, cool/warm).”
Learn more about Lisa’s perspective on this, in her article, “Breathing for Balance” found here: http://www.yourbeautyfuel.com/blog/wednesday-wellness-breathing-for-balance/
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“I have stopped trying to find that ambitious kind of balance that I read about in magazines. The kind of balance that doesn't ebb and flow. The kind that feels just beyond my reach. The balance I seek now moves, changes, looks different on any given day. It's not something I can capture in a mason jar, nor do I try to. It's more like a dance. A falling in and out of step with my partner. And fall out I do. The difference now – I step back in with as much compassion and kindness as I can. For me, it's not about losing balance. It's about realizing when I do and then flowing back in, without judgement, without self-criticism and with the biggest heart I can find.
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to The Love You Make."
~ The Beatles
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“A yogi could say a lot of things about balance, because it is at the very heart of the yogic matter. Most people know that some poses overtly teach physical balance. In fact, all poses implicitly demand we learn how to practice with an ongoing balance of muscular stability and openness. Some poses balance breath, blood or lymph flow, or the actions of parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. The entire practice is an invitation to find greater balance and ease in the mind. For example, by asking the mind to move from over-agitation in the brain to evenly and consciously awaken cells of the body and its organs, we achieve relief from anxiety. That said, everyone needs to discover her or his own path to balance through sensitive practice and sensitive living. The necessary individuality of each person’s yoga, even within shared traditions of study, is beautifully expressed in the Bhagavad Gita:
“It is better to do your own duty/badly, than to perfectly do/another’s; you are safe from harm/when you do what you should be doing.” (3.35, trans Stephen Mitchell)
For many years, this teaching has been one of the most influential to my practice, my work, and my life as a whole. The beautiful opportunity of yoga is that it provides the microscope — the technology — with which we lovingly examine all aspects of ourselves, in order that we might experience more of the balance and wholeness that is our birthright.”
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Share your thoughts on what balance means to you, by joining the conversation on our blog.