“To live the life of Yoga, to repeat, is about a faith that continuously guides the teacher toward practices leading to the harmony of body, mind, and spirit.” —T.K.V. Desikachar, Health, Healing and Beyond: Yoga and the Living Tradition of T. Krishnamacharya
Being present and “Finding Balance” in life is so important yet seems so complicated. There are mountains of books and articles written about “Finding Balance”. A Google search of “how to find balance in your life” brings up 1,040,000,000 results. How can your yoga practice help you tackle the challenge of being present and “Finding Balance”? One word: Equanimity.
What Is Equanimity?
Equanimity is one of the primary goals of yoga. Wikipedia defines Equanimity as a state of psychological stability and composure which is undisturbed by experience of or exposure to emotions, pain, or other phenomena that may cause others to lose the balance of their mind.
It is the practice of resilience and unwavering balance in the face of difficult situations. Whatever chaos you might be facing, equanimity allows you to accept both good and bad with a state of calm and even mindedness. When equanimity is achieved, true balance can be restored in all aspects of life.
Developing Equanimity in Your Yoga Practice:
Yogis strive for a state of inner balance in all life situations. Life experiences both good and bad are necessary to the other. To consistently experience equanimity, incorporate these practices into your daily life and your current yoga practice.
- Balance Your Mind
In times of struggle sit quietly, whether on and off the yoga mat. Let your mind and heart REST by removing physical and emotional clutter. Let your body experience slower deeper breaths. Listen to whatever is arising—emotions, sensations—recognizing the feelings that are there. LISTEN and BE MORE PRESENT.
- Practice Gratitude
Every moment offers potential for feeling and expressing gratitude. Finding gratitude in our everyday lives sharpens the mind and is one of the quickest and easiest practices to increase happiness and joy. One simple way to incorporate a practice of gratitude is to begin or end your yoga practice by focusing on the simple gifts and blessings in your life.
- Be Word Wise
Words can harm or heal. Pay attention to how you speak, how you share what you feel and what you believe. In the midst of conflict how do you communicate? With a sense of equanimity, you might quiet the mind, acclimate your heart, and respond to aversion with compassion and wellbeing for all people.
- Feel the Balance
With each asana chosen during your yoga practice, feel and listen to your body, mind, and heart. If a pose holds tension, can you soften and learn how to balance the energy there? As your body moves, how do you respond? Notice your reaction. Are you active or resting as needed? This is the art of balancing in yoga. Equanimity balances the shift from one form to the next.
Ready to expand your yoga practice to embrace balance as you enter 2020? With each step down this path of your yoga practice, like a beautiful dancer, you will find your next balance point. You will engage with each moment, recognizing it is no less important than the next. You will be more engaged in the flow of everyday life. Yoga Body Shop is a Baptiste Affiliate Studio focused on creating community with inspiring people, great energy and simply great yoga. We invite you start your journey at one of our 65+ yoga classes this week.