This month we have been focusing on the yogic practice of ahimsa/non-violence. We have brought awareness to the nature of our thoughts and how we can sometimes be violent to ourselves, and then brought awareness to our actions and how we can harm in the things that we do and/or say. Over the next two weeks we'll be focusing on two techniques that can help to practice ahimsa in our day to day lives.
This week the focus is on balance. There are many ways that being out of balance can cause harm (think of the last time you were short with someone because you were too busy, or had too little sleep). If we bring more balance into our lives, we are less likely to cause harm through thought and action.
Some examples of imbalance in daily life that many of us experience are:
- Being out of balance in our diets such as over consumption of unhealthy foods, under-consumption of good nutrition, over consumption of alcohol or sugar, or under-consumption of water.
- Being out of balance in our health such as under exercising/having a too sedentary lifestyle, or in some cases over-training and pushing the body to injury.
- Not maintaining a healthy work/life balance can cause emotional harm to family and friends and can harm our mental, physical and emotional health.
- Failing to find balance in a schedule (over-scheduling) can lead to stress both for the over-scheduled individual and for the people they encounter through the day. It can lead to exhaustion and resorting to fast food etc which affect our health and well-being.
Through the course of this week I encourage you to consider where in your life you may be feeling a little out of balance and what small steps you can take to start to embody the practice of balance.
Do not feel like you need to be 'fixed' or that you have to find balance in every element of your life all at once. Consider where you would like to most feel more balance, such as family time, health, diet, exercise or sleep. Think or journal about what balance in that area of life looks like to you at the moment. Then plan some small actions that will help you step towards balance this week.
Remember that practicing balance in life is not about perfection, and it's not a static or statue-like state to be in. If you are in a balancing yoga pose, there are constant movements and adjustments, and the same applies in life. As on the yoga mat, do not get discouraged if you fall out of balance, there is always the opportunity to try again.