We create balance in our lives for ourselves.  We cannot stumble upon balance – it’s counterintuitive.  Sometimes, we wish we could though – right? Isn’t that why, to some extent, we drag ourselves on our yoga mats – to find some semblance of balance?  If we just allow ourselves to breathe - all our stress, muscular tension, emotional baggage –it will drop away?

We enter our yoga practice full of hope and, yes – maybe a bit of expectation – to feel better, breathe deeper, become more present.  We want to find the gems that are promised through a daily yoga practice, but how often does this feel like some kind of quest?  While we seek to find balance, we come up against stuff that holds us back.  Perhaps it’s your mind telling you a story about your experience.  Maybe, you experience physical sensations that make you uncomfortable.  There’s always that person next to you that is doing something “better” and you spiral away from the strength of your practice and end up feeling less than.  What happened to our balance?

Baptiste Yoga defines equanimity as “meeting life as it meets you, calmly – without drama or fuss.” 

So, the stuff that comes up in our practice – we breathe into that.  The stories that float around in our minds – we watch them and say, “hello.”  With every exhalation, we let part of the story go.  When you experience intense physical sensations, can you be with that; maintain an even temper with your steady ujayii breath?  When you begin to witness your internal dialogue compare to another yogi in the room, can you bring your attention back to your essence; your strength to be present with those feelings and emotions and cultivate the power from within, to appreciate the unique experience you are having in your own body?

We practice meeting ourselves on our mat so that we can cultivate an awareness of ourselves that translates to the circumstances of our lives in the real world.  We might begin to notice how we feed uncomfortable feelings that surface off of the mat.  Instead of acting on a craving, we stay. We work to understand the information the craving acknowledges rather than reacting, and we begin to weather the storm. We try, again and again.

Equanimity is the strength to see ourselves for who we truly are at our core, stripped away from the moment to moment.  In every experience, we learn that we ultimately meet ourselves. When we realize this truth, we set ourselves free.  When you trust you are unwavering in your essence, you can face every circumstance head on.  You have unlimited space in this world to be 110% you.  

How do we create balance?  It begins and ends with our breath - both on and off the mat.

Photo Credit: Wanderlust Photography