Yoga for Life Balance
The importance of finding balance in our lives has never been more significant than in today’s frantic world. Pressures from work, family and social commitments can sometimes leave us off kilter, depleted of energy. Often suppressing our own needs for the sake of others, we may inwardly desire simply an hour to ourselves but somehow it feels wrong to admit this, for fear of acting selfishly. Left unchecked, this unbalanced approach can permeate every part of our lives … and, at one point or another, the result is usually burn out, exhaustion and a quiet seething and often unconscious resentment towards those we help.
Making wise energy choices
It is well documented that our energy levels are highly influenced by our diet, lifestyle and even the people we spend time with. However, for many of us we are simply not consciously aware of this energy within our system. Consequently, a specific diet or lifestyle change can feel forced upon us, as if to please others, rather than a choice from within.
A simple, regular yoga practice can develop our capacity to notice the fluctuations in our own energy levels so that, over time, we can start to recognise those parts of our lives that deplete us, and those that raise us up. This conscious awareness of the energy within our own systems, gives us the best possible chance to make our own personal choices; where possible to resist energy-depleting situations and to open to rejuvenating, and life-balancing practices.
Ultimately, our Yoga practice teaches us that balance in our lives starts with balance within ourselves – within our own systems. So what does this look like?
Balancing your body and mind
Hatha Yoga is a purification practice specifically designed to bring balance and harmony to our body and mind system. The ‘ha’ in ‘hatha’ represents the sun and the ‘tha’ represents the moon. Hatha Yoga is the integration of these two opposing forces, the solar and lunar energies.
So what does this mean for me?
Crucially, the Hatha Yogis realised that in order to bring our system into a balanced centre we must first learn to inhabit both sides of the centre – the sun and the moon. Hatha Yoga sessions are designed to do just this.
In our breathing practices, we learn to simultaneously awaken our energy whilst calming our nervous system. In many ways this is a unique experience, one in which our deep breathing energises our system, whilst the constriction we learn to use in our throat calms the nervous system. As a result, many of our breathing practices can be used to both awaken us in the morning and to help us drift into a restorative sleep at night.
In our asana or movement practices we learn to integrate both the masculine, back-bending, awakening poses with the feminine, forward-bending, rejuvenating poses. For example, the strong and powerful cobra pose (bhujangasana) exposes our front body to Life and can foster confidence, courage and resilience in our everyday lives. Conversely, the introverted standing forward bend (uttanasana) calms the nervous system, soothing and relieving tension and stress. Learning to inhabit both the strong, opening poses and the soothing, restorative poses, regardless of our preferences, enables us to find our ease within both. Indeed, we learn that neither can exist on their own. Through regular practice, this integration of ‘ha’ and ‘tha’ on the mat helps to balance our nervous system … and will almost certainly help us to find a greater balance in our everyday life too.
So … if you are feeling out of kilter and want to rediscover
your inner balance … come join us for Hatha Yoga classes.
Call 02380 639747 for more information