Yoga Practice

Meditation on the Mat: Balancing Adventure with Stability

Can an adventurous spirit and a desire for stability co-exist peacefully within the same life? Or will it be a constant internal push-pull into what you want and who you are? This is my on-the-mat meditation today. I’ve already felt disconnected from my practice now that I’ve recently re-committed to yoga, but now I’m exploring the disconnect I feel within my own being. Ya know, when it rains it pours I guess.

What Does Your Heart Say?

I’m seated at the top of my mat, I relax my shoulders and ask myself, “what does your heart say?”. I allow myself an inhale to fill my lungs all the way down to my ribs and exhale to empty completely before I allow myself to answer. My heart says “adventure”, of course… I already knew that. I take another deep inhale allowing my gaze to wander skyward to pause at the top of the breath before releasing. Then I ask myself “what does your head say?”. I plant my hands and make my way into my first down dog before realizing how much feeling all four corners of my hands combined with the connection of my feet to the mat makes me value stability. There is no other pose in yoga that will make you feel more stable than downward facing dog.

Now there’s the disconnect, a heart full of adventurous desire and a head full of logical stability. Can the two really be mutually exclusive? Can they exist simultaneously? I move through one vinyasa after another in frustration, I shoot out my legs to a plank and quickly move through a vinyasa and it creates heat in my muscles but also in my mood. Why can’t I only want one? Why can’t I have both? As I take a break in child’s pose, I try and reset my mindset. Inhale to fill the lungs and then sigh out all the frustration, I clear my mind as I elongate my spine. Sit the hips back and reach forward, feel the spine and neck release.

Winding Down to Savasana

Less frustrated now but still exploring this quandary. I purposely take my warrior 2 and star poses to feel strength and empowerment while also bowing to my frustrations with every humbled warrior and forward fold. I start to feel the balance of adventure and stability, it’s a dance of taking two steps forward and one step back. It’s a constant evaluation of stepping out of your comfort zone but doing it in a logical and calculated manner. But at the end of the day, a risk is a risk no matter how much you plan for and analyze it.

I wind down my practice taking some easy twists and with every exhale I deepen my twists to ring out every negative feeling. By the time I’ve laid down for savasana, I not only feel like I can balance my adventurous spirit with my desire for stability but I’ve realized I haven’t felt this connected to my yoga practice in months. Meditation in motion may not describe every single one of your practices, but man do they make for incredible ones. The different facets of who you are can exist harmoniously, if you balance them adequately. Namaste.

Yogis, how do you balance your need for stability with your craving for adventure? Tell us in the comments!

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1 Comment

  1. Amanda Sides

    Amanda Sides

    February 19, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    Ooooh, this is very timely for me. After six years of living in South and Central America (no one house/apartment for longer than 9 months!), we just moved back to the States. It’s still in adventure mode, since we don’t know where we’re going to be living, but a huge draw for me coming back was wanting some sense of stability and community. I felt like so much of my time was spent researching visa requirements, I wasn’t giving focus to figuring out what my dharma is. So as far as balancing adventure with stability, I’m not yet sure what that’s going to look like. I fully intend to continue traveling on a regular basis. We’ll see what happens in the coming months!

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