Balancing Act

Warrior 3 is a yoga pose in which you balance on one leg while bending forward to a 90° angle. Your head, torso, hips and lifted leg should form one straight line parallel with the floor. Meanwhile, your arms extend out overhead as you push out through your lifted heel and level your hips. Warrior 3 is a pose that not only that demands that your body be strong and flexible but also that you find balance within it.  

Balancing in yoga may be very frustrating for some people. You may fall. You may not feel strong enough. Maintaining balance also has the potential be extremely rewarding. When you find that place where you are aligned and all of the muscles engage, the skeleton moves into place and the mind is focused and present, balance is achieved. Then… you begin to wobble.

Life is a lot like Warrior 3. Finding balance between all of the moving parts of our day-to-day existence is quite literally a balancing act. We have responsibilities to take care of our families, significant others, work, homes and, quite often what is placed last on that list, ourselves. Day-to-day life has a lot of moving parts.  

Imagine the three corners of an equilateral triangle, where all three sides are of equal length and all three angles are of equal measure. One corner of this geometric shape represents our family and home lives. Another corner represents our work. The third, and final, corner represents our ability to take care of ourselves. In equilibrium, all three of these facets of our lives are congruently being tended to and nurtured. However, in the juggling act of life, more often than not, at least one corner of our triangle is neglected. Thus transforming the shape – not into something else entirely, but instead into a different version of the same shape. The attempted balance of home, work and self-care doesn’t change who we are at our core, but can quite easily change how we reflect ourselves out to the world.

For me, one corner of my triangle is usually getting neglected. I tend to err on the side of neglecting myself in favor of tending to work and my family. Lately, though, I have been contemplating ways to go about balancing the demands of life and restoring the shape of my triangle. I have been considering how much time I dedicate to work, home/family and self. Trying to be more selective about which projects I add to my plate and which of those I can let go. Learning to prioritize people over things. And doing my best to carve out time to do what I really love: running, traveling and reading.

Along the way, it seems like life has been throwing every book at me that it possibly can. When I try to take care of myself something goes awry with work. When I feel like I’m finally nailing work life, I end up with an upset stomach. The thing is that these challenges are a part of life. We have to take the good with the bad.  Balance is not anything that you can attain permanently and without the challenges. The ups and downs help one recognize and truly appreciate all that life has to offer.

Like learning to stand tall and breathe in Warrior 3, balance in life is something that you have to work at. There are moments where everything feels as if it has snapped into place, but long-term, over the course of several minutes, hours, days, months or years, it is just simply not realistic to expect to stay in one place and shape.

Instead of seeking this perfect balance, try to pay attention to what it feels like when things are going well and enjoy it. Focus on what each experience feels like and accept the beautiful moments with the challenging ones. Work to be okay when you falter and fail. See what you can learn from those more challenging experiences. Be okay when you succeed and when you falter. And most importantly of all, when things are out of balance don’t beat yourself up.

Remember that you are doing the very best that you can in any given moment, in any given situation. And that is really all that anyone can ever ask for. And when you finally find that strong Warrior 3 enjoy the balance along with the moment you may fall.

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