The Yamas and Niyamas: Ahimsa, Week 2

What is Ahimsa (non-violence)?

Week two:

This week, guard your balance as you would your most precious resource. Don’t find your balance from a place in your head of what it should look like. Instead find guidance from the messages of your body… Act on the messages of your body and explore what balance looks like for your this week…

 

The previous week has been pretty hectic. My husband and I went on a short trip up North for a family visit. We also had a chance to explore parts of New York City during our stay, but since we were only there for a few days, we had pretty much crammed everything we needed to do in a day and a half. Even though we were on vacation, I tried my best to observe the week’s question for exploration: find balance in my life.

The day after we arrived in New Jersey, both my husband and I practiced asanas, but skipped meditation. The third, and the following days we were busy and too tired to practice! I told myself that I was on vacation, so I shouldn’t worry too much and stress about not doing my practice for a few days. Truth be told, I learned how it feels to be imbalanced instead of finding balance. I’d say that I have been living a pretty balanced life a few weeks before we went on a trip, and felt a huge difference in my body. “Balance” may mean differently to each person, but for me, it means listening to my body’s cues at the moment. It also means nourishing my body and mind by eating nutritious foods and staying active. Being in tune with our bodies is not as easy at is sounds though. I have been in countless situations where I knew I was tired and needed rest, but pushed myself anyway. Constantly doing this resulted in gradually learning how to ignore my body’s needs. When we were on our trip, we walked for hours and hours with little rest because we wanted to stick to our schedule. Our bedtime was pushed from 10 PM to 2 AM once or twice during our trip because we wanted to get the most out of our trip. Although I only experienced these changes in my routine for a few days, I felt that its effects have stayed for longer than I’ve anticipated. I’m back home in Florida now, and my bedtime is back to around 10 PM, but I still feel fatigued, and waking up in the morning has been difficult. Somehow, my sleep pattern has been disrupted so wake up during REM sleep. It’s interesting how small things, which we consider harmless, prove to have lasting effects. A lesson learned during the past week is that finding balance in our lives is a challenging, work in progress. For me, giving myself adequate rest, giving myself space for reflection and being more mindful seems to help me achieve balance in m everyday life. If we were more mindful, a principle that yoga teaches, then we can be better at being present in the moment and enhance our mind and body connection.

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