Namaste Yogis, we want to start this write-up by quoting what buddha said.
“All pain or suffering arises through desire or craving and that to be free of pain we need to cut the bonds of desire.”
Is it possible to end all desires in today’s era? Isn’t the thought of removing all desires a desire in itself? So is it possible to find a balance between having desires and still being free from them? How does a yogi find balance in life?
Keep reading, as we reveal the key factors on how to stay balanced while advancing towards the goal of yoga—the ultimate liberation.
Understand The Spiral of Desire
While we may not fully understand where this innate desire to be free comes from, we surely know for a fact that all cravings come from the mind which is seeking salvation or fulfillment in external things and the future as a substitute for the joy of being. A yogi’s life is balanced when his mind is calm, his emotions are pleasant and he is focused on serving others.
Let’s find out how yoga and each yogic practice help us reach that state.
Patanjali defines yoga as Chitta vritti nirodhah— Chitta means mind, vrittis are fluctuations of the mind and Nirodhah means cessation. Yoga happens when all the* fluctuations of the mind have ceased.
This may seem like an impossible task at the beginning but each yogic practice helps you attain that state of equanimity when done with determination.
How does a yoga posture like forearm arm balancing help you balance your emotions?
Forearm Balancing Pose.
In this pose, you balance on just your forearms and extend your legs straight up in the air: like a headstand, only on the forearms. As a beginner, It may be to do the pose just like controlling, accepting the painful emotions, and getting over them. However, by practicing foundational yoga poses every day and staying on the yoga mat to gain openness in the shoulders, core body strength, leg strength, arm strength, and a large dose of fearlessness. A mindful foundation helps us integrate growth more smoothly. So learning that steady and progressive change is the kind that lasts and that the desire for immediate results and instant healing is a fantasy. In real life, it’s next to impossible, aggravates the nervous system, and adds unnecessary pressure when we’re trying to change our patterns.
So how does all this relate to emotional balance?
Asana is physically demanding, similar to emotionally charged situations.
Emotional balance works in much the same way. You need to learn to confront the emotional situation and break it down into its parts as we did for Forearm Balancing Pose. You would need to calm the nervous system and make it less reactive and more responsive and surrender to the situation as you do in final forearm balancing or any other balancing yoga asanas.
Meditate Regularly to find more balance in life and in balancing yoga asanas
Regular meditation is one of the best yoga therapy to bring balance to your life and all the balancing yoga asanas. Neuroscientists have generated a fair amount of research on the benefits of meditation for the brain and, in particular, for emotional health.
Mostly, because of this, many psychotherapists now recommend Buddhist principles and mindfulness techniques to their clients. Yoga and mindfulness-based awareness train the mind to observe itself with detachment and to be a compassionate, impartial witness to direct experience.
Meditation techniques take the balance one step further. It helps create a foundational framework for internal awareness. It does this not just through the mind, the “thinker,” but also through the body, the “breather” by bringing direct experience into the body. Yoga is an extraordinary method of mind-body balance.
Let’s explore more elements of yoga that help build balance in life and on the yoga mat. You can integrate these techniques into your life, or your current forms of treatment, as soon as you like.
Balancing the nervous system with Restorative Yoga
Your brain has an automatic dimmer switch known as the parasympathetic (rest-and-digest) system. While the sympathetic nervous system gets you agitated, the parasympathetic system calms you and lowers your heart rate, blood pressure, respiration rate, and stress hormones. It increases digestion and strengthens immune function. In contrast to the fight-flight-freeze response, the rest-and-digest system conserves rather than expends your energy and revitalizes rather than depletes you.
While muscular tension built in an ashtanga yoga session can activate the sympathetic nervous system, Restorative Yoga can minimize muscle tension and maximize physical comfort and relaxation to bring balance into your yoga practice.
Balance I With The Breath
Another way to balance our life and yoga practice is to breathe fully and deeply. When we regulate our breathing and make it slower and deeper, it is called practicing pranayama. Doing pranayama every day will make your rest-and-digest system more dominant.
Conversely, when we don’t regulate our breathing and breathe shallowly, the nervous system moves into hyperarousal mode—one of the causes to throw mind and body out of balance. Every balancing yoga asana requires a good amount of control of breathing. Even when someone feels emotionally balanced, rapid and shallow breathing can trigger a bout of anxiety and stress. Rapid and shallow breathing contributes to the elevated nervous system arousal we see in both anxiety and depression.
Hence, conscious breathing is essential to emotional balance. In contrast, slow and deep breathing increases the circulation of oxygen in the brain, muscles, and tissue. Slow, deep breathing dilates blood vessels and improves the body’s response to emotional stress. Slow and deep breathing through the nose helps deepen the breath and reduce hyperventilation which, in turn, helps the nervous system relax. Even when someone feels emotionally off center, just breathing slowly and deeply can stimulate the relaxation response, reducing anxiety and stress.
Hope this blog has given you less discussed ways of bringing balance into your yogic lifestyle.
At the Vinyasa Yoga Ashram’s Yoga Teacher training course we focus on sharing the best possible knowledge to bring that balance and tranquility to your life. Contact us to experience this life-transforming journey.
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