I love that quote from Rumi. In life that is so true. The holding and the releasing. If we are not aware the balance is gone, how can we change, how can we regain it?

I think about balance a lot, often very literally. One of the main reasons I started yoga was because I have balance issues and I wanted to address them. I’m getting older, old people fall, break hips and die in nursing homes (think I might be awful-ising a bit?)  But it’s true, physical balance is very important, and I didn’t have it.

And still don’t.

That pisses me off. I expected to be way better at balancing than I am after as much yoga as I do. I see a small improvement, but  it’s not enough.  NOT ENOUGH!  I had a conversation with one of my teachers after a class yesterday in which  I had been VERY frustrated with myself. I mentioned the teacher training, how could I do that if I can’t even do a simple, solid, tree pose for fuck’s sake? How embarrassing will it be to be in training and not be able to pop into an easy pose like Crescent, where both feet are still on the ground? I wobble in Triangle pose, waver in Warrior 2. I was really hurting yesterday, or causing myself hurt.

When I take a moment and breathe and look at the big picture, I see remarkable growth. The things I am physically able to do, the strength I have, has improved by leaps and bounds.  I can’t pop up into Crescent, but when I get in it I can hold it. And I can do a tree pose on a good day and a great triangle when I use a block. My teacher reminded me of how far I have come and how ready I am to go deeper, which I appreciated.

The main thing, however, is the way I am  becoming more balanced in life, not physically but emotionally. I am so much more balanced than I have ever been. My yoga and meditation have me emotionally balanced to a degree I cannot remember. EVER.

I am not kidding.

And that kind of balance is priceless, because even if I do fall over and break a hip and go into a nursing home….well, I’ll be able to handle it better. I am more emotionally balanced. My friendships are more balanced, my relationship with my son is more balanced. My relationship with myself is SO much more balanced, and that is what it really comes down  to.

I practice both Yin Yoga, and Yang versions, keeping a balance between to two styles and loving both of them. And I keep a much more balanced grasp on my emotions, they don’t own me like they used to. I am in both a different physical and mental space, and it feels so good. I hold on a lot, but oh how I have been able to let go.

So now,when I fall over in class, I intend to use it as a reminder of how truly balanced I have become.




Add yours →

  1. I so understand!
    My recent struggle with sever anxiety is similar.
    I think…I do so much yoga. I try to take care of myself. WHY Am I ANXIOUS!! It isn’t fair.

    The struggle with what is is the issue. Accepting our bodies balance and our emotional balance for what is it, at that moment, is the key. As I struggle with feeling inadequate and unstable, I realize this is temporary. I have had many months of feeling really good. This is just today. Neither good nor bad. And to get through it I need quiet and peace.

    It doesn’t matter if your tree wobbles. Be your tree and love being it however works. Tomorrow will bring a different challenge and another chance to show self compassion and acceptance.

    Wow. This deeply helped me.


    • Anne…let me just say I spent the last over an hour reading all your blog posts that I have missed. Why? because I never look in the reader . I looked all over to find a place where i could have them delivered to my inbox and couldn’t find one. If I’m missing it let me know.
      I want to apologize though, i so value your comments and support and I have not been doing that for you. That changes now.
      Your journey is fantastic, and i see so many similarities between us! And oh my! you are sooooo close to your year!
      Often THAT messes with us, those big dates, consciously or sub-consciously, and that might be part of the anxiety problem too. be very gentle with yourself.

      • Thank you so much. My blog is not very tech savvy. Lol
        I also felt a strong feeling of familiarity reading your blog. Something from inside, rather than the exact story.
        I appreciate all your support.
        And perhaps the milestone is part of it. I want to celebrate, but part of me is scared to have pride in my own achievements.

      • Well,
        you know you didn’t do this alone. And so when we take cakes, or chips, or whatever on our sobriety birthdays we acknowledge the help we received, and we let those who can’t imagine even a day, much less a year, know that it is possible.
        But be proud. You worked hard. And you will continue to pass it along!

  2. Love this. I used to do yoga (I know, the term is “practiced”) and I would do the usual alcoholic thing – compare myself to others, get competitive, get all perfectionist, etc. My wife loves it and goes often (usually Bikram now) and she only compares to herself…she says what you said, in terms of what poses she can now do or can do better, etc. Great attitude – I need to learn from you guys.

    Anyway, the idea of balance in all of our affairs…amazing. I am getting there, but I have my wonky moments. It’s the effort we put in, right?

    Thanks for this!


    • I have a runner friend who is also a yoga teacher and practitioner….
      she swears it has helped her running so much. (hint, hint!)
      I have done bikram but…i’m over the sweaty! Not to say i don’t sometimes get sweaty in a crowded or hard class, but I don’t choose it, like may of my friends do.

  3. Love this post! Great topic. Especially for us alcoholic boozer types. Our lives have become unbalanced. The thing I actually love about thinking about balance is that it’s always a work in progress. It’s always fluctuating and being influenced and changed by all the other factors in our lives. It’s not something to “achieve”, like, “now I’m balanced”…. it’s just something to work towards. Always an on-going negotiation or conversation with ourselves. Not about the destination, it’s about the journey 🙂

  4. I saved this post for the last (getting caught up this morning!) and you delivered even bigger and better than I had hoped.
    You know how 2014 was your year of Yes? My 2014 was to be my year of Balance. Balance in work-life, emotions, exercise, anxiety…everything.
    I didn’t even come close to accomplishing it. I am too extreme in everything I do.
    I have a huge poster board with six or seven balanced poses as a reminder for me to do so. Your words remind me that balance is not a “year” thing, but more of a “forever” thing. I’m going to try to end 2014 in a more balanced manner…hoping that it carries me to the beginning and clear through 2015.
    Thank you for this.

    • you know…..
      I have had four word of the year years… Yes, Enough, Open and Free….
      and i rally see that I only need one, the YES, at least for now.
      everything else falls into that.
      So from now on every year is the YES, and I will do sub-words, things I want to work on.
      MY point being we can do the same word over and over because we don’t change over night, or in a year…it’s mutable. Yes, and forever.

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