Springtime in Middle America, where Lisa lives, would lead you to believe Mother Nature is a bit off-kilter. One day it’s cold and rainy, the next day it’s hot and humid. And lately, this imbalance has even caused tornadic activity. At least that’s what they’re calling it in the news. Amidst all of this stormy weather, Lisa shares her thoughts on balance…
Even if you live in predictably sunny Dubai, perhaps you can relate to Mother Nature. I know I can. Sometimes the balancing act that is my life looks and feels more like severe weather…electric outbursts and pouring tears, interspersed with moments of quiet and calm, reminiscent of the lull after a Midwestern thunderstorm.
There’s nothing like a solid yoga practice to keep you grounded and balanced. Asana, pranayama and meditation are the tethers that stop me from flying off to Oz with the next passing tornado. If unpredictable weather, challenges at home, or too many deadlines at work have you hanging on for dear life, it’s a great time to try standing on one foot, on your hands, or on your head.
But what does a yoga pose have to do with real life? Quite a bit, as it turns out. What we learn and cultivate on our yoga mats is simply a metaphor for our lives.
For example, think about what it’s like attempting to stand on your head in sirsasana, or headstand pose. First, you have to be brave enough to even try – confidence. Then there’s the uncertainty of figuring out where you are in space while upside down – trust. And once you’re up, unless you’re Dharma Mittra, who can stand on his head, on a manhole cover in the middle of a New York City street, WITH NO HANDS, there’s the ensuing wobbliness and danger of toppling over – fear. No matter how you slice it, it’s a tricky proposition.
So why even do it? We attempt headstand, or any yoga asana, because the pay off is worth it…because it teaches us to believe in ourselves. We prove that no matter how disoriented we may become, we can bring it back to center. We show ourselves that we can look fear in the face and say, “Whatever!” No matter how many times we fall, we stare down some scary demons on the way up, and that’s empowering.
So the next time some serious stormy weather comes your way, roll out your mat, and practice your balancing act. The rest of your life will thank you for it.