Balance. What does that really entail? A balanced meal, lifestyle, approach? We talk about balance a lot in yoga, typically while wobbling on one leg. But how can we take that concept further, perhaps even off the mat, and apply it to our everyday life?
We gathered some tips and guidelines from experienced yogis on how to cultivate balance when things feel overwhelming...
Step 1. Identify your imbalances.
You can't fix a problem without fully understanding it. Therefore, you need to step back and look at what's causing imbalance in your life. See what jumps out at you. What areas of your life do you need to put more energy into, or pull away from? Consider whether your actions are serving your highest self.
Step 2. Find your drishti (focal point).
Just like in a yoga class, you need a focus point. What are you working towards that requires you to be balanced? Perhaps you need this for the sake of balance itself. Or maybe you're working towards an achievement that will enrich your life. Whatever it may be, if you have a goal in mind, the act of finding balance will feel all the more purposeful.
Step 3. Minimalize and meditate
To hold your drishti, it's very helpful to acknowledge any distractions in your life that might be causing your attention to wander. Take time to find out what is serving you and what is not. This way, you can actively let it go and focus on what's important, and what requires your immediate attention.
Step 4. Build strength.
Any balancing pose requires strength. Once you have something you can focus on, that's when you have the room to build strength. In class, this is done from the ground-up; so find a foundation. Remind yourself why you're working towards this goal, and draw from that to find the energy and stability to keep going.
Step 5. Breathe
To get through anything in life, we can do so more effectively while cultivating patience and breath. Have you ever been in a yoga class where all of a sudden, everyone's in a balancing pose and it seems as though you've all stopped breathing? If you're working too hard and losing clarity, make sure you take the time to breathe. Carve out a section of your day to sit in silence with your breathe, and allow your mind the space to solve problems, calm down, and find stillness. When you choose to breathe and ground yourself, it benefits not only you but everyone around you... That's balance.
Step 6. Practice self-compassion.
While it's important to check in on your progress routinely, it's more necessary to find self-compassion. Don't be so hard on yourself -- we're all trying our best. Just remember that you're doing yourself and everyone around you a service by taking the time to create balance in your life. Give yourself the room to fail, and then brush yourself off and find balance again.
This week, we want to hear about how you find balance within your practice. What do you bring to yoga, and what does it bring to you? Our founders, Mark Drost and Zefea Samson are feeling enormous gratitude for marking this elite milestone of running their 100th training. Such an achievement has culminated from years of hard work, experience and dedication. With this excitement, they want to share their good fortune and offer a once-in-a-lifetime training opportunity to the yogi who shares their dedication.
To wrap up this month of celebration and gratitude, we will be giving away a very special yoga teacher training at our flagship location in Santa Barbara, California. If your entry is chosen, not only will you receive a free 250hr training, but an additional month of one-on-one support and guidance from Mark and Zefea themselves. You heard that right, they will be carving a month of personal time to invest in your yoga journey. You will be personally mentored to become the best teacher you can be, with the opportunity to lead your own classes at Evolation Yoga Santa Barbara.
This "yoga internship" is our biggest prize yet, and we're really excited to offer you the opportunity. To enter, simply fill out this entry form by Monday, June 2nd. Best of luck!