Finding balance–lessons from the yoga mat

I love yoga, but one thing I’ve gotten frustrated with since day one are balance poses. I look around the room and compare myself to others, thinking, “how they can they do this?“, “what’s wrong with me?”, “this sucks!!”. As I become more frustrated the more mistakes I make.

Two weeks ago at yoga I decided I would…

  • do my best with the balance pose
  • not compare myself with others
  • gently try again

I didn’t do so well but I was OK with that because of the intention I had set beforehand. It also allowed me to see where my yoga practice also reflected on my life and when I get off balance. I look around at others, compare myself, see where they’re succeeding and I’m failing, wonder what’s wrong with me and just get mad. Then I try doing what I was doing again–harder, with frustration and falling more off balance each time.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. I was in class and when the instructor said “we’re going to do the tree pose.” I took a deep breath and actually fully listened to what she was saying instead of immediately thinking, “I hate this pose” while looking around to compare myself to others. I took in her instruction of using the bar for balance if we felt that would help, and I moved over to the bar. I also found a Drishti—a point of focus in a pose. Not a person, an object. Then, I took a deep breath and stood in the tree pose. It wasn’t perfect, or for the entire time, but I removed my focus from others and turned it inward–removing the comparison and frustration, allowing more balance.

Disconnecting from our surroundings is the first step that will lead us into concentration (focusing our minds on one thing at a time). If we learn to still our minds, we can be free from any limiting thoughts that bring negativity into our lives and create a feeling of unbalance.

This week I invite you to..

  • Take your focus off of others
  • Listen
  • Let go of resistance
  • Use support that’s there
  • Focus on the Drishti

It may not be perfect, but nothing ever is and the more you practice the better you’ll become.

“As Marianne Williamson puts it, “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us.” Once you’ve awakened to this light, you will gradually, almost involuntarily, begin to act more like yourself—not out of a desire to attack anyone else’s truth, but simply because you cannot un-see what you have seen. Without your having to force it or try or even hope, the truth will set you free.”

Martha Beck~ The Joy Diet

Dance YOUR Dance

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about being honest in who are in what we put out and give to the world.  It came from a topic of social media but has been on my mind all week.

Somehow in our conversation I connected the way I dance to the way I live my life and share who I am.  I own the fact that I’m not a good dancer, but I love music, the way it makes my body feel and want to move.  I let the joy of it take over. I see humor and can laugh while doing it.  Just ask my kids…my daughter thinks it’s the best thing to video me and send to her friends while I’m rocking out.  The thing is that I do it from that place of honesty–no pretending.  And, when I do others can’t help but join in—either dancing silly, laughing or smiling.

This ties into my life as I am surrounded by people who accept me for me in my honesty. I can be mad, sad, or happy–I can share my fears and doubts and they’re there, not trying to fix me but walking with me in love and friendship.  And, because I’m open with who I am it allows them the space and trust to do the same.

In honor of Robin Williams I wanted to share a monologue from his movie Jack.

“I don’t have very much time these days so I’ll make it quick. Like my life. You know, as we come to the end of this phase of our life, we find ourselves trying to remember the good times and trying to forget the bad times, and we find ourselves thinking about the future. We start to worry , thinking, “What am I gonna do? Where am I gonna be in ten years?” But I say to you, “Hey, look at me!” Please, don’t worry so much. Because in the end, none of us have very long on this Earth. Life is fleeting. And if you’re ever distressed, cast your eyes to the summer sky when the stars are strung across the velvety night. And when a shooting star streaks through the blackness, turning night into day… make a wish and think of me. Make your life spectacular. I know I did.”

The tip for this week is to dance your dance….share you with the us.

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