Roots and Wings

Woman on top of mountain arms raised iStockIn a recent interview, I was asked why September is National Yoga Month in the United States.

While the answer is uneventful (i.e., the government said so), the designation is still interesting: September happens to be one of the two months a year that we have an equinox, when the lengths of day and night — two opposite forces — are nearly equal and balanced.

So what does this have to do with yoga?

The foundation of yoga is based in the balance of opposites.

And what if you’ve never practiced yoga?

If you’ve ever found yourself trying to balance consciously, then you have. No one-legged poses or perfect handstands required.

In Hatha yoga, a common type in the West, balance shows up in lots of ways. We sequence the poses to help create balance between the different anatomical planes of the bodies: sagital (left and right), coronal (front and back) and transverse (top and bottom). We contrast poses from strong, hot and masculine (as in, for example, chatarunga dandasana or “4-limbed staff pose”), to restorative, cool and feminine (for instance, balasana or “child’s pose”). Even the word “hatha” translates to ha (sun) and tha (moon), two more opposites. And, of course, in yoga we also breathe deeply, engaging and equalizing our inhales and their counterparts, our exhales.

But, if you know me, you know that I’m mainly interested in practical ways to practice yoga in everyday life, like:

  • Eating each meal in a balanced way, without being too restrictive or permissive.
  • Actively listening, as well as speaking, when you’re having a conversation.
  • Spending time in nature, creating art or other “hands on” activities, to dissolve the energy from all of the electronics we use.
  • Honoring what needs to get done each day, but also taking time to DREAM BIG and delve into the enormous possibility out there.

Today, see where you can practice more balance in your life. It doesn’t mean you get extreme — it means you gently let the scales find an equilibrium. You keep your feet on the floor, and you breathe into the sky.

You need roots and wings. Stay grounded. Fly high.

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One Response to Roots and Wings

  1. […] Earlier this month, I chatted with the Travel Channel in honor of September, as National Yoga Month. We started with why September received this designation (the article didn’t have space for the full answer, but the reason — and the super-cool coincidence about it — is in last week’s post). […]

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