Balance is the most important aspect in our Lives. We all know too well the negative effects of living ‘out of balance’. This point is further emphasized when it comes to Yoga. Success in Yoga comes from the perfect combination of ‘inner unfoldment’ and ‘outer expression’ (that’s the best phrase regarding these 2 aspects I’ve read).
So, what does Balance mean?
People generally live Extroverted lives wherein the primary focus is on the outside world and one measures one’s life journey through achievements in the world. However, those people interested in Meditation (also artists and others) live lives that are primarily Introverted wherein the main focus is to understand what lies within. The first aspect – Outer Expression is called as ‘Avidya’, while seeking knowledge and Inner Unfoldment is called as ‘Vidya’. Yoga clearly suggests that the perfect balance of the Outer and Inner is required for growth.
While we often think that Meditation and opening up of the Chakras will lead us to higher states of consciousness; progress actually happens through a combination of meditation and performing our Karmas too. By performing our duties in the external world, we are able to surpass our Karmas. Often, when we try too hard to Meditate and seek the inner journey too robustly, we either fall ill or worse still – many mental problems might arise. This is because we are not giving enough time for the change in our inner being to reflect in our interactions in the external world. This has to be in balance. As we grow internally, it will mold our interactions and karmas. If we do not compliment our inner meditative work, or consider a life in Meditation as purely an introverted experience; then we end up getting ‘stuck’ in our progress. We reach a state that Yogis call as Laya; or in layman’s terms – we lose awareness and this is experienced as falling sleepy or feeling dull during meditation. It’s as if we hit a wall and are unable to make progress. It’s through us performing our Karmas that we are able to go beyond issues and express ourselves better in the external world; which brings about progress in our inner journey as well.
Ha-tha Yoga is the balance of life!
Hatha Yoga is the science of balancing HA and THA. These apparent opposites come together to complete the human experience.
HA refers to Yang, Sun, Physical, Masculine aspects while THA refers to Yin, Moon, Mental, Feminine aspects. Hatha Yoga combines Asanas, Shatkarmas (cleaning techniques), Pranayam and Meditation to balance the opposite aspects and bring about Balance and Growth in an individual. As we’ve seen, progress is not possible if one if simply Physical-centric or just Mental-centric. That is why Yoga is so successful because at its fundamental – it is looking at the body-mind matrix as one; as aspects of the same and not as different entities. The Ancient Chinese understood this and as a guiding principle in Life, they used the Yin-Yang symbol where all opposites exist harmoniously in the Tao.
Getting your balance between the physical and mental aspects is the most important part of your Yoga journey. As rigorously as you do your Meditation; with the same enthusiasm also do your Service! In no time you’ll be living a more fulfilling life that is absolutely in Balance!