My first two yoga sessions were humbling. My impression of yoga was that it was all about stretching and flexibility. I also had a negative opinion that the so-called “spiritual” aspect of the practice was silly and unnecessary. So when I found myself struggling with steadiness, strength and silence it was clear that I had completely misjudged this type of physical activity and its mental benefits.
During an evening class, my body wavered as it fought to stay still in a Warrior II pose. With arms stretched, and feet apart, I could feel my toes grip and my hips sway. I felt anxious to move to the next pose, fearful that I would falter completely, stepping out of the pose altogether. But then I heard the teacher softly say, “Feel your heels grounded to the earth”.
I immediately shifted my weight more center, taking the pressure off of my toes, sinking into the floor as if my heels were nailed down. My arms stopped feeling like a scale trying to balance reaching ahead with stretching behind. It was as if my body was a tree, deeply rooted and my arms were merely branches growing out in to the room. I no longer felt like I was in a hurry to get to the next pose, but instead took a few breaths to enjoy this pose.
It’s amazing how quickly our mind can scan through our life so unexpectedly. I started thinking about how many years I have been feeling pulled in every direction, struggling to balance tomorrow with yesterday. Many times I have caught myself saying, “this is just a busy season of my life” or “things will slow down when …” but the truth is, life will always be busy and things will never slow down unless we make a choice to change our focus. My family is active. We all have activities and commitments woven together, dictating our schedules. So how do I balance it all without giving up the things we love?
I think simplicity is the answer. Gymnastics, swimming, music, friends, writing, golf, racquetball, and of course education, are all part of what makes my family happy. I don’t think that giving up those activities would make life more balanced, but I do think that bringing everyone closer to home would be a better solution. I no longer think our focus should be about being in the perceived “best” community, but being the best we can be in the community we are already a part of today.
Be more grounded.