Balance. A practice in itself.
A guest blog post by Lauren Eastman
I fell over in tree pose today. That’s right. Fell down. As I teetered to the right, and then to the left, feeling my left foot give way to gravity, it was a reminder that perhaps my life was moving so fast, standing still on one leg may be a bit more than I can handle at the moment. So, I let myself fall down. Dropping onto the mat, I exhaled with the gratitude that I had not injured myself and tried not to look around to see if anyone noticed. Deep Breath.
Winds are gusting around me in the form of deadlines, to-do-lists and perhaps not enough time on the mat, left me without the balance that we strive for as yogis in practice. After all, we are not only yogis and yoginis. We are often mothers, brothers, professionals, survivors and seekers in different stages of existence and time. Each day that we take the time to come to our mats, and each moment we spend there – whether 90 minutes in a public class or five, just on our own, the mat is a place where we are not only cognizant of the balance upon where we stand, but the balance that is required just in getting there. And, in the balance we find once we arrive.
The practice of yoga, similar to every single asana, or pose (and the transition into and out of each one, which is as sacred as the pose itself) is indeed, a practice. And sometimes, it is more than whether we are awake and alert or sleepy and undernourished when we show up. Like the flowers on my deck that beg for water during this particularly warm week, it is incredible to see what nourishment can do and what the lack of it creates in the spirit and body.
This week, I am a bit wilted on the mat, but happy to be here, regardless. I may be pulled in many directions that cause a bit of imbalance, but if I didn’t have that, where would my practice be? In some ways, it is the tension that creates the release in the end, and without having the things that bind us to our lives, yoga’s function to release us from them for a moment, or maybe a few moments if we are lucky, would not seem so incredible freeing.
So, I let myself laugh as I struggled to stand, and reminded myself that all of the comings and goings of my mind could wait – just a moment – while I moved again into tree….on the other side, this time. Just to balance things out.
About Lauren Eastman
Lauren tells stories for a living, when she is away from the yoga mat. She is currently in the Yoga Tree 200 Hour teacher training program and is a committed yogi, writer and traveler, who is engaged in many international causes and community issues.
Lauren founded her own firm Issima! Public Relations in November 2009 and provides her clients with unique and impactful campaigns related to the Bay Area’s rich and diverse lifestyle. She has traveled far and wide to India, Bali and Asia, to explore the impact of yoga’s roots around the world and the societies that have shaped the practice.
She currently sits on the Board of the Raphael House in San Francisco, which helps at-risk families achieve stable housing and financial independence while strengthening family bonds and personal dignity. She also supports Sahasra Deepika a non-profit foundation that houses and educates underprivileged children in Bangalore, India. Recently, she began a pen pal program linking the students of both organizations to each other, which makes the vast world feel just a little bit closer.