What does balance mean to you? When I think of balance, much like most people I guess...it means being able to stand on one leg or hold one's self upside down on one's head. However, what else do you have to balance in your life and how doe's it make you feel? This is something recently, I keep coming back too. We all spend our entire live's trying to balance, whether it be our diet, bank account or in asana's. For me balance does not come easily, whether on the mat or in everyday situations. I strive to eat well, by meal planning and cooking from scratch with fresh ingrediants... however I can not count the number of times that I tell myself off for having had that "naughty piece of cake" whilst meeting my mom friends for coffee or whilst grabbing a croissant instead of a banana in the morning on my way out of the house. All for what....to balance the scales? And don't even talk to me about balancing the books, especially when teaching yoga is your chosen path where your monthly pay packet is never set or guarenteed.
The most recent thing to throw me off balance was the arrival of our little boy. I have been told by numerous friends, books and on websites that it is "normal" to feel unbalanced after having a baby... you become a new person, though the old person is still in there trying to fight's its way out. When baby comes along and turns your world upside down, taking over both your night and days with hourly feeds and non-existent sleep...it's easy to immerse yourself in them and neglect your own needs. This is motherhood after all. However as they grow and start to become a little more independant, you start to see that there is a line between you and them... that there can be a little space between you without any harm coming to them. That the balance can be restored a little, between your needs and theirs. But as all mothers out there know, the need to feel your "old" self again or to take some time away or out from your little person... comes with a great emotional burden. How can I want to be away from the child which I love so dearly, but who also exhausts me on a daily basis. Does that not make me a terrible mother for putting my own needs first? Yet again we must find balance between taking care of ourselves and our child, how can we be the mothers we are so desperate to be, if we do not first take care of ourselves so that we can give as much as we can back? For me, balance is a never ending quest... however without yoga, anchoring my feet to the ground, encouraging me to take deeper breaths both on and off of the mat. I am not sure that I would ever feel balanced. I have mastered warrior 3, headstand and handstand. I have found ease and effort at the same time in each of these poses and so now I must take what these poses have taught me and apply them to everyday life. Sometimes you will fall, it's never easy, there is always room for improvement... if you fall then just dust yourself off and get back up, take a deep breath and know that the universe has your back and that everything is as it should be. Just know that, BALANCE is always fleeting...your breath is not, it's your anchor, your one constant... always come back to the breath.