Balance is something we all struggle with, not just us yogis.
Every living thing around us strives for balance, from the trees to the grass, and even squirrels digging up our tulip bulbs. It’s not just physical balance we struggle for but emotional balance and balance with the world around us.
Unfortunately, change is what disturbs balance and change is the one and only thing that is constant in this world! Look at it this way: without imperfection and imbalance, life would be dull. Without struggle, life would be lifeless, for the struggle is essential.
Visualize a tree, and what do you see? A tree is strong, the trunk is hard and dense giving it a good foundation from which to grow. Yet it is flexible, able to sway with the breeze. So, let’s say the wind is change, if the tree was only strong and not able to move with the wind or “go with the flow,” that dense foundation would mean nothing. Eventually, the tree would break and fall.
To be flexible, or we can call it dynamic, adds to the strength of the tree giving it much more balance in life. However a tree wants more then to be strong and sway in the breeze. It wants to grow, to reach for the sun, produce leaves and fruit, give shade, and be a home. This is what gives luminosity or life.
So what is luminosity and how does it apply to us? Well, let’s break it down. Saying the tree has a consciousness, with its protective quality, the tree is tranquil. The gift of the leaves and fruit is alertness. The continuing quest to reach for the sun and grow is clarity. All those things together create luminosity – tranquility, alertness and clarity.
Still not sure how this applies to you? In striving for balance in our lives or simply in our yoga practices, we want to be strong: strength of body, strength of spirit and strength of heart. Yet, being only strong would simply just make us, well, hard. So flexibility is important, not just physically but being able to roll with the punches life throws at us is invaluable. We become more resilient, not so breakable.
Last but most importantly is luminosity. We involve our minds in being alert of what is going on around us, yet instead of letting all of the craziness stress us out and wreak havoc on our lives, we need to allow ourselves to be calm and accepting. Crap happens right?
Clarity is just another aspect of luminosity and that is the drive, the quest and goal we are all strive for. We might not always reach that goal but that is not what’s important. It’s the journey – climbing the ladder, reaching for the stars – and all those other cheesy, cliche life quotes.
When it comes down to it, nobody is perfect but that is what makes each one of us beautiful. So don’t give up. Join in with everything around you to that wonderful dance of life and that amazing quest for balance. You may not find what you were expecting but I’ll bet you end up loving what you find in it’s place.
Bethany Traynor is a yoga instructor, longtime dancer and resident of Chartiers Township. She teaches Hatha yoga at Sri Yantra Yoga Studio in Houston.