Life is all about finding balance. Striving to create harmony within ourselves and within our lives. If we do too much in one aspect of our life than the others suffer and the same goes if we don't do enough, then we become stagnant and stop growing. Listening to our instincts and our bodies when it signals overflow can be difficult when we all have so much to do but it is crucial for proper balance and ideal health. The yin and yang. The male and female. The giving and receiving. Finding the courage to expand and move forward but the wisdom to know when to rest and have reverence.
Here are 5 yoga and spiritual practices that can help you find "The Balance" in your life.
1. Yoga. Yoga is amazing at balancing the body and mind. There are certain poses that you can do that specifically focus on the physical aspect of finding balance. Vrksasana or Tree Pose. Mastering how to balance physically translates spiritually. The attention it takes to find balance in difficult poses, helps you to clear your mind. If you find tree pose easy then try Natarajasana (Dancer's Pose). Remember that balance doesn't always mean stillness, it is more about being adaptable and giving more or less depending on the situation, it is constantly changing.
* Vrksanana- Plant your left foot into the ground, foot pointing straight ahead and pressing all four corners of the foot into the mat. Bring your right foot high into your inner left thigh and resist your foot with your inner thigh by firming your standing leg. Rotate your knee to the side by drawing your tailbone down. Bring your hands to prayer at your heart or reach your arms up to the sky. Find something to focus on that is straight ahead. This is called your drishti. For more advanced, try looking up towards the sky. Repeat other leg.
* Natarajasana- Start with your left leg strong and firm just as you did in tree pose then with your right hand, grab the inside of your right ankle. Avoid dropping the chest and instead resist your leg with your arm and reach your leg and chest high up towards the sky. Try to keep your shoulders and hips squared to the front of the room and bring your left arm forward into whatever mudra is comfortable for you. Find your drishti and balance as long as you can. Try the other leg.
2. Pranayama or Breathing techniques. Prana meaning life force or vital energy. Nadi Shodhan or alternate nostril breathing is a perfect technique, as it is known to clear out blocked energy channels in the body, creating calm and balance.
* Nadhi Shodana- Sit on the floor, cross-legged. Leave your left hand on your leg palm up or down and bring your right hand up to your face. Closing your first two fingers, this is called Mrigi Mudra. Gently close your right nostril with your thumb. Inhale through your left nostril, then close it with your ring and pinky fingers. Open and exhale slowly through the right nostril and repeat. Continue to do this a couple of times then go back to your natural breathing.
3. Figure eights. Close your eyes and make slow figure eights with your eye balls. The great thing about this is that it doesn't take much to do and you can do it almost anywhere, although you might look a little crazy. Drawing the infinite figure eight with your eyes is a way to balance the male and female within yourself.
4. Balance your bodies ph levels with diet. What you eat effects your bodies chemistry. If you are too acidic you will feel off and vice versa, but most Americans diet make them more acidic then too alkaline. Eat whole organic foods, free of processing, microwaves, additives, and excess sugar and alcohol. You can buy a saliva test kit online to check your ph levels at home. Notice how you feel after you eat certain foods. If you swing too far into a diet regimen then you could be missing out on some fun but too much fun becomes a breeding ground for disease.
5. Sleep & Exercise. Try and go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Irregular routines can cause stress hormones in the body that can cause serious health issues. This complex reaction or "fight or flight reaction" is a natural alarm system that should not be constantly under attack. Proper sleep can prevent you from feeling "off" and creating a spiral of eating bad and feeling unbalanced. Exercise is just as important. Breaking a sweat and getting your heart rate going everyday is ideal. It is important to know the difference between being exhausted and being lazy. Some people need to learn to rest and not over do it, while others need a little more motivation.
* A wise woman recognizes when her life is out of balance and summons the courage to act to correct it, she knows the meaning of true generosity, happiness is the reward for a life lived in harmony, with a courage and grace.-Suze Orman