I have started going back to yoga. Not only am I going back, but I am going back to my favorite place, the place I originally discovered when I moved to where I live now. I have always loved the studio. It sits on top of a hill, and when practicing poses I can look out the windows onto the view beyond. Right now, the trees are still mostly bare and the afternoon sun shines brightly in. It is a very peaceful and spiritual space in which to experience all that yoga can be for me.
This was the start of a new session and so the instructor asked us to introduce ourselves. We also briefly explained why we were in the class. I explained that I needed balance. That I tend to be passionate about everything I do, which primarily has been work. I have no balance, I work until I drop and then I am left depleted, burnt out.
After I said this, I quietly started thinking about how my passion is not "sustainable," that there has to be another way- through balance. Our teacher must have read my mind, because she mentioned how she had spent a weekend at the ashram and how they were asking everyone to consider "sustainability" in terms of the physical space of the ashram but also in terms of themselves. She asked us to reflect upon how to achieve "sustainability" in our practice and in our lives.
For me, the tree pose, vriksasana, is a wonderful pose in which to reflect upon balance or the lack of it.
I tried not to think about how much easier it was for me to do this simple pose a year ago and instead to concentrate on a point in the distance so that I would not fall. It was much easier for me to balance on my right side than on my left. I placed my left foot up inside my leg and placed my hand in the prayer position. Slowly, as I began to gain confidence and the swaying stopped, I raised and opened my arms, taking in the joy that is life.
The second time in the pose, I faced the window and looked at a slowly blossoming tree. This tree survives the seasons, I thought. It loses its leaves, withstands winter, and blossoms once again. It is balanced not only because of its roots but because it is sustainable.
I want this for myself. I want to not feel burnt out with my job and I want to ensure that the love that I feel now for L. will remain sustained and rooted.
My hope is that balance will help me achieve this.