Yogamint

in depth

29-Aug-2010

Find Your Stride

Travel, Yoga and Balance

Thoughts cannot be pushed, they must be allowed to flow. A life change cannot be made, it must be cultivated. In the same way, finding balance in your life, no matter how committed you are to creating it, can be like grabbing the soap in the bathtub – the harder you try to grasp it, the quicker it flies into the murk.

With yoga, you cultivate your balance softly, quietly, with serenity and persistence. You trust that it will grow. In the practice of yoga, there is a kind of faith. You balance your body and trust that your mind will follow. You quiet your mind and your body settles into equilibrium. Putting faith in this process allows you to step forward more completely into yourself.

An observer only has to watch me wobbling precariously on one leg during Tree Pose to see that in order to cultivate balance, I must embrace situations that challenge my balance. Inside that challenge, a transformation occurs, and through the physical action of Vrksasana (tree pose) I discovered that the balance I sought already existed within me.

Before I turned fifteen, my family had moved no less than nine times. Four of the moves took me to opposite sides of the country. You might think that this turbulence would leave me reeling, but this experience has had the opposite effect. There is a wonder and joy in a constantly changing environment. As with yoga, travel and adventure stretches, expands, and challenges all of us.

Try both at once, and see what happens. Silhouetted against a completely new environment, with all the baggage of home stripped away, a traveler is most singularly themselves. Surrounded by total originality, you can feel more connected with your universe than you can in the safety of your familiar life. Travelers and yogis are discovering what transformations await at the crossroads of yoga and travel. The joy of exploration flows from a deepened practice in a breathtaking environment – steaming Icelandic hot springs, mythic depths of underwater caves in the Yucatan, secluded coves alongside Nicaragua’s Pacific coast. Put yourself out there, and see a little more clearly, love more fiercely. Remember that the balance you are seeking is ecstatically dynamic and alive – just like yourself.

John Babbott
Freelance writer and traveler
SolYoga Trips

 Recommended: Falling Off the Map: Some Lonely Places of The World by Pico Iyer


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