Yoga: An Ideal and Balanced Life
I have many friends hot on the pursuit for career success. They have student loans to pay off, goals to achieve, a lack of sleep to contend with and a thousand tiny responsibilities each day. Relating to my article about showing up for yourself, yoga not only provides the tools, but more importantly the insight to bring balance into your life. The iconic symbol of the chakras reflects this beautifully, a full life with each aspect aligned with intelligent focus. This is not a too good to be true tale about having it all. It’s about acknowledging what your heart and gut are compelled to do, following this bliss and surrounding yourself by those who only wish to reflect and absorb your light. It’s possible, let yoga show you the way.
Time and Energy Management: Let me go out on the limb and say if you feel depleted, lethargic, exhausted and/or drained much of the time, you need to restore. Seems obvious, I’m sure, but we place these obscene expectations on ourselves (silly) and therefore we sacrifice much of our happiness and health in the present because of what we hope to earn in the future. Means to an end is similar to no pain no gain, you simply won’t hear it in yoga. I used to resent myself and my pursuits for this very reason until I dropped the urgency and realized the better I valued my day to day existence, the better the next days, weeks and months turned out. Let go of being in a hurry, savor all the essence out of this moment.
Bringing the Body Back to Equanimity: Not only do I see what a tremendous cross-training tool Yoga is for runners, athletes, dancers, and fitness enthusiast; but I also feel strongly that a mindful asana practice paired with adequate walking, a balanced diet consisting of mostly whole, natural foods, water, laughter, the occasional indulgence (good craft beer, wine, chocolate, etc.) can provide all the nourishment you need to live a fulfilling, healthy life. I wake up feeling great almost every morning and I sleep solid at night. I know this is due to yoga bringing an increased intelligence as to how to treat my body, my mind and my soul. When you’re sore, your body seeks to restore, it doesn’t want more. Remember that little poem every time you may be pushing your body too far. Living harmoniously is an ebb and flow. I ate pizza yesterday, okay, I’ll be sure to balance it out with fruit and veggies, less dairy today. I had a rigorous vinyasa class yesterday, shoulders and hips feeling that awesome burn, I’ll walk and do some light stretching today, maybe a yin class. You’ll merely become more attuned to your needs and how to meet them and thus you’ll feel better.
Family, Friendships and Lovers: You like how I wrote Lovers, plural? Go out there and get you some lovers! In all seriousness, I’ll sometimes find myself so engrossed in my work life that I yearn for the calming connection that can only be felt with loved ones. Spending quality time with people who want, need and expect nothing out of you but your presence, your relaxed essence in the same room with theirs. I also find it much easier to run tedious errands, perform remedial chores and/or fulfill very basic responsibilities with the company of another. Laugh while you wait in line. Pop into some random poses. Talk about whatever weird topics only trustworthy friends discuss. Connect. Humans are meant to collaborate. Love cannot simply sit idle within us, we must project and give it!
It is actually much simpler and easier than one would think to regulate their own lives, to access and maintain their own equanimity. With Yoga we’re not only provided a very thoughtful, aligned form of exercise that strengthens and lengthens, but more importantly we’re given beautiful insight on how to better treat ourselves and our daily lives. This clarity will bring dreams to light and the courage to pursue them. We awaken from our apparent sleep walking state and come into a more awakened, intelligence where we make sound, alert decisions on how to respond to our surroundings and live blissfully in the Now.
Do not forget:
- You need sleep. It’ll lead to better days and a longer life. Don’t put it off.
- You need stillness. Stop running around for 15 minutes every few hours and breathe. Let go of the to-list and the what-ifs and just be. You don’t need a special pillow, candles or music (although giving yourself that serenity is awesome too!), you just need permission to be rather than do. Only you can grant that permission.
- You need positivity. Even more important than where you invest your time or your money is where you invest your energy. The first two are simply a reflection of the latter. Choose your people, your exercises, your work and your nutrition wisely. Wake up everyday feeling stoked to be alive and knowing you have the potential to set the world on fire!