The perfect balance
As a dancer, balance is crucial. As a yogi, balance is also crucial. As a human being with a busy schedule of teaching, dancing, yoga-ing, socialising, spending time with family, eating, cleaning, and everything else-ing, balance is especially crucial. How do we find a happy balance with everything in life, and then maintain that on an ongoing basis?
I started off trying to set a routine. I’ve read books and articles that state that the most successful people in the world have a routine that they stick, and so I tried. I tried to set my alarm at the same time every morning, to go through the same motions each day, but it didn’t take long for it to fail in a very major way.
Some people find routine boring, but I love it. I crave it, even. In Ayurveda (the medicine or science of yoga) I am extremely ‘vata’. Some of the characteristics of vata people are cold, light, dry, irregular, rough, quick and changeable. I am exactly that. I often joke that I’m cold-blooded as my hands and feet are usually freezing, and my sister often wonders if I actually wash myself in my super fast 2 minute showers! (I don’t understand what takes people so long!) I drive, cook, eat, and speak fast. My schedule is extremely changeable and random. The problem is the more I engage with the irregular schedule and continue to fly through each day, the more stressed and anxious I get. The more I can anchor myself into some sort of schedule, the more I feel grounded, present, and am able to function optimally.
Which brings me back to my failed daily routine. As each day is so different with class schedules and training routines, it didn’t make sense to follow a daily routine. Instead I decided to look at it more broadly, based around my semi-permanent teaching timetable. Instead of setting my alarm every morning for 5am, I set each day at a different time…but reoccurring each week. Instead of worrying about a regular yoga practice at the same studio at the same time each week, I book in 3-5 classes each week in advance, but they might vary according to my teaching schedule. Everything is organised with a week in mind, rather than just a day.
Ultimately, looking at my core priorities helps me feel more grounded and therefore more relaxed. Just like in dance or yoga, if I let go of my core, then the rest of my body becomes wobbly and off-balance. As soon as I switch on uddiyana bandha or core abdominal muscles, everything can move more freely and easily, with the least amount of effort.
My core priorities this year include my health, yoga, dance, teaching and having enough time for myself, and friends and family. I wanted to reduce my stress levels as last year was extremely stressful and emotional. I wanted to live a more balanced, simple life rather than get caught up in drama and excess activity. So each week, I make sure I organise my time around my core priorities.
To keep myself on track I ensure that the first thing I do when I get on the mat or into my dance shoes is to breath, and centre myself. I switch on my core and bring myself into the present moment. This makes yoga, dance, and life, much easier and far more enjoyable :)