considering balance

Balance is an interesting concept.  Flavors are balanced in well-prepared cuisine, music is recorded and played with balance between treble and bass, and we even use the word to describe the state of our checkbooks.  Our family has a beautiful backyard water pond continually in need of care to remain in balance.  I’ve learned plenty about the natural chemical components of water from watching the algae bloom when temperatures rise.  I can work to beat back the algae and then find there isn’t enough life left in the water to support plant growth.  Currently the water lily and lotus are blooming beautifully and a healthy measure of algae is supporting that growth in some kind of odd harmony.  I can look at the water and visualize balance.

And then I have a physical connection to balance three evenings a week when I shuttle from work to yoga class.  I bought into this schedule with a passion when a thirty-something hard-bodied gym trainer sympathetically oozed “It’s ok. Everyone loses balance when they age.”  All I heard was a very patronizing, “You’re getting old and you are going to eventually fall down and break something…and it’s not going to get any better.” It didn’t matter to me that what she said was probably true. I had an internal tantrum.

That was six years ago. I have gained a great deal of physical confidence since I made the choice not to accept the downfalls (pun intended) of allowing age to just do its thing!  Beginning this practice at mid-life I am also very grateful that my instructor kindly reminds the class each and every session that yoga is not a competitive sport!  We ease into movements.  We take our breath seriously and listen to our bodies.  The degree to which each twist and position is experienced has everything to do with current levels of stress.  Some days my balance is noticeably light and airy; some other days when my mind is preoccupied by fatigue or care…well, not so much, and I’m glad there are no judges in the room.

I gratefully start each session with good health and strength, but that’s hardly true for everyone.  I’ve met some marvelous people and learned a lot about perseverance from the women who have told me that their daily dose of yoga has changed their pain profile and freed them from dependence on pain medications for chronic disease. When I noted that the The Sheri & Les Biller Patient and Family Resources Center at City of Hope offers yoga as one measure of palliative care for patients and their caregivers, I knew that I wanted to be part of that support system. What a marvelous addition to a medical facility offering such a boost to the overall well being of people living under the most stressful of conditions.   I hope others will consider making a small donation in honor of someone else, or to celebrate your own good health.

And I’d also like to hear what you think about yoga.  Do you practice?  What does it do for you?  Are you interested, but haven’t quite decided?  Maybe now is the time to just give it a try!


10 thoughts on “considering balance

  1. Deborah Wilden

    Hi Debra
    I liked your blog! I am also looking for balance and self care as well as I love to care about and for others I realize I need to care for myself first so I will be able to give from a place of fulness. Still not sure about Yoga though so for now I am stretching daily and eating better getting enough sleep and trying to De stress as much as possible. Thinking about dance someday because I like it!
    Love Deb

  2. Pamela Wheeler

    I do not know much about yoga but have been interested in it since you, my friend, began participating. I live with the philosophy of halt, breathe and focus. Is it time consuming? Does it take you into a place of such relaxation that you rest well in your mind as well as body? I have been told on numerous occassions that exercise is not good in the evening because it causes the adrenalin up tick that causes lack of sleep. I would like to know more to get a greater understanding.

  3. Pingback: Considering Balance Women

  4. Hi Debra, I think I’m going to like your blog. I have to come back to this one some other day for right now I have been running out of time. So sorry.
    In the meantime:
    Cheerio, Uta.

    1. Welcome, Uta! I’m so glad you stopped by. How nice for me that you found one of my earlier posts! I’m delighted that you have an interest in returning. It’s such a delight to share in this way! 🙂 Debra

  5. Here I am again, Debra. Balance, stretching, correct breathing, all this is so important to keep in mind, especially if you reach a certain age. Well, I am well advanced in age, nearly 78 actually. Since about one year I’ve been enjoying very gentle Yoga as well as gentle exercise classes for seniors with music and a bit of dancing. I also try to do a bit of swimming and walking. When for some reason I have to miss out on some of the exercises I truly miss them very much.

    1. I am really delighted to hear that you are so active and engaged in life! I have friends my own age (60) who have already stopped investing in their movement and stretching. I mention yoga to them and they are just sure they aren’t physically capable. My yoga teacher says that saying you’re not flexible enough for yoga is like saying you’re too thirsty to drink water! I just love that. Good for you, and what an inspiration. I’ll be popping over to your site and seeing what it is you enjoy sharing about. I hope you share some of your enthusiasm for keeping active and prioritizing your exercise. That’s what’s keeping you young! 🙂 Debra

      1. You’re very welcome to come over to my site. At the moment I had to cut back a bit on exercises. I just try to keep going as much as possible. I realize that it is important to do a little bit every day. An old body can deteriorate rather quickly, that’s for sure!
        Thank you very much, Debra, for your response.

I always enjoy hearing from you!

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