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Find Your Balance

Summer is coming to a close. Kids are headed back to school. Vacation vibes are finished for now.  While the change of seasons always brings excitement, if also brings a bit of frantic energy to the air.  We are often running around, filling the schedule to the brim, and feeling drained a few weeks in.  It’s hard to strike a balance. How can we find peace when life gets hectic? Maybe it’s not about changing up the schedule to find moments to relax, but about finding ways to relax in each moment along the way.

The Yoga Sutras suggest that we should have an “alertness without tension and a relaxation without heaviness.”  Easier said than done! We are constantly walking a fine line between overworking and under-working, active energy and passive energy, alertness and relaxation.  BUT it is possible to find a balance. Here are some things you can do anywhere, anytime to stay centered.

Breathe
When a challenging moment arises we go into fight or flight mode. The sympathetic nervous system kicks in. Our heart rate increases. Our blood pressure goes up. We experience stress in our body and mind.  Deep abdominal breathing helps up tap in to the parasympathetic nervous system., allowing the body to go into a “rest and digest” state of being.  The good news is that your breath is easily accessible! It is flowing all day, every day. So next time you feel yourself fly into a state of tension try closing your eyes and taking 3 to 5 full, deep breaths. Feel the change.

Try a Mantra
Whether you are feeling sluggish or tense a mantra can be a useful tool in shaping your outlook on the day.  It can be one word or one sentence.  When you feel yourself teetering off your center, try repeating your manta a few times, either in your head of out loud.  They work great for kids too. I recently used this one for my 3 year old and myself: “I accept my feelings today, good or bad, just as they are.  They are perfect.” A few others that I find helpful are:
“I am strong, stable, and at peace”
“I am thankful.”
“My words are seeds.”
"Breathe in peace. Breathe out tension."

Practice Non-Attachment
When your to-do list is long and you feel your mind racing to keep up, try practicing non-attachment to guide you back to a place of peace.  Allow thoughts to flow without latching on to them or judging them. Positive thoughts AND negative thoughts can make us feel overwhelmed. Realizing that our thoughts do not make us who we are is liberating.  We have the power to let go. Try to detach by staying connected to the present moment. Look around you. Notice your physical surroundings.  Concentrate on your breath. Say your mantra.  Do some yoga! Non-attachment does not come easily, so practicing it just as you would with any other skill, sport, or artistic pursuit is necessary. With time it will come easy.

Happy fall! And happy balancing! :)

 
 
 
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