- An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. (stability of one’s mind or feelings.)
- A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.
- Keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall. (Remain in a steady position without falling.)
- Offset or compare the value of (one thing) with another.
I remember my first Bikram yoga class four years ago as if it were yesterday:
Although I had never done yoga before in my life, although my body was completely imbalanced from surgeries and injuries and bodybuilding and starving, I was intent on being the best student in the class.
And being the best student in the class, I believed meant that when the time came, I would have to stay upright from Eagle to Tree, even while twisting, bending, and balancing on one leg.
For years, I was intent on getting my head to my knee while in Standing Head to Knee, getting my leg as high as I could for as long as I could hold it in Standing Bow Pulling Pose, sitting in Toe Stand with both hands in full namaskar without tipping over.
And I won’t lie: after four years, I got very good at standing on one leg, chronic injuries and car accidents notwithstanding. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that while I was able to stand on one leg and push myself further in the postures…I wasn’t ever balanced.
I’ve recently returned to yoga, and my biggest focus these days is not on pushing myself to go deeper, but on pulling back. Why? Because one look in the mirror during Standing Bow Pulling pose shows me that I get my leg to come up over my head at the expense of my hips, which are horribly rotated. With my hips out of alignment, after all of these years of proving to everyone in the class just how “good” I was at balancing, I was never truly balanced at all.
We all make these little compensations–a rotated hip here, a hyperextended knee there–in exercise and in life. Maybe you think you’ve got your nutrition dialed in, but your work/life balance is a mess. Maybe you’ve got the relationship thing all figured out, but your self-care is non-existent.
Sometimes, finding true balance is a lot more difficult than just staying upright–it’s about being okay with falling over while you learn what good form in any aspect of your life should look and feel like. It’s about figuring out whether your priority is to go deeper or to do the post right.
Today’s podcast really drove that point home in a way that I had not expected when we first started chatting. Dietitian Cassie is one of my favorite people in the Paleosphere because she really is committed to balance–in nutrition, exercise, and body image. She is one of the first people I ever told about the Finding Our Hunger podcast, and I’m so happy that we finally had a chance to speak with her about what a balanced diet–one that is balanced for body AND mind–looks like. But what came up as we dove deeper is even, in my opinion, more valuable.
Namaste & Stay hungry,