By Nate Fillmore balance. balance (ba-ln(t)s) noun, verb, adjective. (n) a weighing device. (v) to keep or put something in a steady position so that it does not fall (adj) mental and emotional steadiness (balanced).
There are 9 definitions of balance according to Webster’s Dictionary and 3 times as many variations in the ways we use the term in our everyday lives. People are constantly trying to balance their time, between professional and personal life. Within personal life we try to balance the time between family and friends and maybe even some alone time. We balance our bank accounts (or you might let the banks do the balancing for you). However you define it, balance is a goal everyone seems to strive to achieve.
Since being introduced to Bikram Yoga in 2011, I began seeing other aspects of life’s balancing act appear in my practice. The postures themselves present lessons in balance. The pushing/pulling partnership that is seen in Camel and Rabbit. The balance required to hold Standing Head to Knee. And who can forget Balancing Stick! Even though it’s only 10 seconds, my body completely understands the full complexity balance can bring.
My favorite definition of balance states “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady”. I think all Bikram Yogis can relate to this statement as we constantly hear our teachers in Standing Bow, “Stretch forward and kick back, you can balance here forever”. They teach us the importance of balancing our flexibility with our strength, our determination with our patience, and our effort with our relaxation.
There is also the mental, physical, and emotional balance that exists within each one of us. Being in a room that’s 105 degrees with 40% humidity puts that balancing act to the test. I haven’t experienced a class when at least one of these aspects isn’t being tested. You might have a great physical class with high emotions from the day, but your focus might not be at it’s highest. When you can find the balance of all three for 90 minutes, I presume the final Savasana is unlike any other experienced (and I will be happy to let you know if I ever find out)!