The Sankrit word for Yoga is translated in English as “union”. Yoga is indeed the practice that unites body, mind, spirit and beyond. Beyond duality there is yoga, union.
If I look back at my personal yoga journey, I have to confess that the reason why I started practicing yoga in the first place was mainly to keep my body fit.
I was not interested in spirituality and very sceptical about the whole idea of it. I was very much body-only focused – probably also reflecting the society I was living in. I had no awareness of how powerfully this practice would have transformed my entire life very soon.
However my body knew it. The body is very wise and it knew that it was just the beginning, so I kept going.
As I increased balance, strength and flexibility on the mat (through yoga asanas and pranayama) I started to notice those changes off the mat as well, in all aspects of my life.
After 5 years of yoga practice (including meditation) I quit my toxic corporate job, I quit an unhealthy relationship I was stuck in for over 10 years and I started a journey of listening to my soul and following my higher purpose in life.
Yoga has certainly been the tool I needed to break through my conditionings and find balance.
Now I can share with you the beauty of yoga in all its universal benefits.
Everything we learn and master on the mat influences the way we show up off the mat in our everyday life.
Let’s look at one of the qualities we often seek for in our lives: balance, and how the yoga practice can help us achieve it more deeply.
The balance in a yoga asana (a body posture) can be reached by finding our drishti.
Drishti is a sanskrit word for “point of focus”.
We can’t balance in an asana by focusing on the whole wall in front of us. We need to chose a precise point on that wall, stick with it with full awareness and commitment and let go of the rest. That point on the wall is our drishti.
Once you find your drishti, the invitation is to commit to it and to let the breath be deep and smooth.
And every time you fall, honour that. Honour the commitment you have to get back up again, and again.
Let’s remember that it’s not about how many times we fall, but rather how many times we are willing to rise up once again.Enjoying the process is the real goal.
Likewise in life, to be balanced, we need to develop the ability to chose to focus only on the things that are beneficial to us and let go of that don’t serve us.
Following our dreams, our true desires, our soul purpose in life – that’s our Drishti. It requires determination and practice; it demands to believe fully in our dreams and to drop the resistance or attachment towards what doesn’t serve our purpose. We are capable of the impossible if we only believe in it.
Yoga gives us the tools to find that drishti, that balance on and off the mat.
Practice: Balance your Breath
Beside yoga asanas (body posture) we can practice the principle of balancing with the breath as well.
Set aside 5 – 10 mins now, or longer if you can, to practice this gentle breathing meditation and increase your awareness on balancing:
Find a conformable sitting position or lay down in savasana.
Take few moments to tune in into what balance means to you.
What is the quality of balance you wish to bring in your everyday life?
Breath in your intention with full awareness. Stay here for few moments as you plant the seed of your intention. Water it with your breath.
Then let go of your intention for now, drop any story in your head and shift your mind from whatever is drifted to, to watch the rise and fall of your natural breath. Without changing it, just bring awareness to it for few minutes.
As you inhale you receive energy, as you exhale you give energy. Pay attention to whether your inhale is longer then your exhale or vice versa. Notice if that is also true in your everyday life. Is it probably time for you to receive more? Or to give more?
Then start to bring balance to your breathing. Feeling that the inhale and the exhale become equal length. Counting the breath may help. Breathing in for 5… breathing out for 5… noticing the gap in between each breath. That tiny little pose at the bottom of your inhale and the tiny little pose at the bottom of your exhale.
Continue for few minutes and then release.
What have you noticed?
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to share and comment, Enjoy the process!!!
With Love, Nadia