I came across this question today and it got me thinking. If you think about it, Balance is a simple concept. Here is a classic example, think of a set of trays on a central stand… in order to obtain an equilibrium, you need a left and a right side that will offset each other, or ‘Balance’. It’s really a simple concept, but from there I think that the concept can blossom out. Good with Bad; Work with Life; Relaxation with Activity, you get the idea. But if you look at it in this simple state it looks to be very two dimensional. I’m not saying that there is anything wrong with that. I think that it’s far too easy to just think of ‘Balance’ as a simple two dimensional model.
When I say blossoming out, I think there is more to ‘Balance’ than what meets the eye. I do yoga, and I hear this word ‘Balance’ in every single class I go to. I find that yoga is not only a place where I can become grounded, but it’s also a place where I can expand my horizons as well, where I “reveal my human condition”.
When I hear this word ‘Balance’ in class, I realize it’s not as simple as me standing on one foot, rooted to the ground and making sure that I remain upright and in the pose. Although on a simple and purely physical basis, it really is that. But when I start to think about ‘Balance’, there are a number of Physical, Emotional and Mental attributes that all start to play into my ‘Balance’. Think, if you will on a purely physical basis. Balancing would mean taking all of my physical ‘systems’ and making sure that they all ‘Balance’. In yoga, it’s not only the pose, and making sure that I’m executing it to the best of my ability, but it’s so much more than that. It’s making sure that I’m breathing, calmly and deeply; making sure that I’m listening to the instructor; making sure that my eyes are open; making sure that my knee is locked, and the list goes on. The act of simple ‘Balance’ is now overshadowed by a number of physical ‘systems’ that I need to focus on. Making sure that all these systems are balanced. It’s a matter of creating ‘Balance’ out of what you have at your disposal. Now factor in, the emotional and mental state and trying to ‘Balance’ those out. All while trying to do something as simple as ‘Balance’.
Ok, now take the concepts of ‘Balance’ and move those outside of the yoga room. I’ve always regarded the yoga room as a safe place. A place where I’m not judged, I’m not criticized, and where I’m supported for whatever I am, or whatever I look like. Outside the room… That’s a completely different and sometimes opposite story. Now incorporate ‘Balance’ into your life. Trying to balance out all of the your physical, mental and emotion states, and while your at it, throw in some spirituality… just to spice it up a bit. See where I’m going with this ? I think you can start to understand why stress starts to creep into people lives and how at times we all seem to be off-centered or unbalanced.
I admit, I’m probably one of the more obviously un-centered or unbalanced people you will ever meet. At least in some respects anyway. On one instance, I had a friend call me irrational. Whatever prompted that comment, was directly due to something where I had weighed in on one side more than the other and it was clearly obvious, just not to me.
So how does one obtain this ‘Balance’. What is it Exactly ? Is it really that important ? Or is it a(n) Utopian concept that is unattainable, similar to Altruism ? Can all of us obtain balance in our lives, and what exactly does that look like ?
What does Balance mean to you ? and while you’re thinking about that, what do you do to seek it out ?