Flexibility and Balance

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These are probably two of the most obvious metaphors you can apply from the practice of asanas to your life, but it doesn’t make them any less powerful. How could you spend time each day mindfully concentrating on both elements without starting to apply the concepts to everything else you do.

Just like all of the embedded teachings of yoga, you have to bring them into conscious awareness and work with them to get the most benefit. If you practice without making the connection of whether your life is in balance and whether you are able to flexibly adapt to new situations, for example, some of your practice will still seep into how you live your life. But if you really spend the time to apply the concepts you get even more out of them.

Try making a list of those elements in your environment that make you feel balanced and those that throw you off your balance. Write down life choices you have made that have brought you peace and some that have brought you distress.

Think about what having balance in life means to you personally, and how your idea of it is similar to your quest for increasing balance in the practice of asanas. What strategies have you used to improve your balance in yoga? What natural skills did you bring to the table? Could you use these in other areas of your life to find balance there too?

Next start thinking about flexibility. What is the difference between flexibility and giving in? Can people try to be too flexible? What happens to you in your yoga practice when you try to stretch your body beyond where it is capable. What have been the benefits of improving your body’s flexibility? Would you experience similar benefits by increasing your flexibility in other areas of your life?

As your practice continues you might notice that your thoughts overlap, that flexibility in asanas is influenced by your meditations on flexibility in the world, and the way you see and interact with the world is influenced by the connection you make to your asanas.