Most people today lead very busy and hectic lives! As a result, our sense of achievement is often determined by the number of tasks we’ve completed within the day. There is nothing wrong with being ‘task oriented’. In fact it’s the only way to achieve things. It’s this masculine energy that keeps us focused and moving forward. However, when we purely operate from the masculine side, the feminine begins to suffer.
The feminine energy governs our intuition, creativity, spirituality, sensuality and nurturing instincts. When the masculine side dominates, it can be hard to slow down, or even switch off. For example, making the choice to drink your coffee at the computer rather than taking a 10 min break, is allowing the masculine to dominate over the feminine.
It’s important to have drive, commitment and focus. In fact, many women today hold down highly successful and busy jobs as a result of this drive. However, operating purely from the masculine energy can lead to exhaustion, impatience, and even sickness. Not resting when the body is depleted elevates stress hormones, and may even result in hormone imbalances in women. Studies are also revealing the knock-on affects of stress on the female reproductive system. In my blog ‘Woman Ain’t No Man’, I discussed the importance of recognising and supporting the feminine energy, particularly in regards to balancing hormones.
I’ve struggled in the past to find balance, and often dwelled more in the masculine. Often labelled a ‘high achiever’, this go- getting lifestyle took a toll on my health. I lived with stress, anxiety, depression and reproductive problems for years. Yoga however, taught me to bring awareness into my thoughts and actions, and I started to find balance in my life.
Arm balances are a beautiful demonstration in finding balance between effort and ease. On a physical level they help to balance the central nervous system. They develop focus, concentration, and a deeper sense of Dharana (single, internal focus). The two hemispheres of the brain responsible for emotional and logical response are balanced, which can alleviate stress and anxiety.
Eka Pada Koundinyasana, Flying Splits Pose.
Koundinya was one of Buddha’s most dedicated disciples. He taught Buddha’s philosophy on the ‘Middle Way of Life’ which was about finding balance between effort and ease. Eka Pada Koundinyasana (Flying Splits,) is a pose dedicated to the Sage Koundinya II.
This pose is a perfect example of finding balance between effort and ease. Whilst some level of strength is required, arm balances simply require focus, faith, balance and the right leverage.
Arm balances also remind me of the importance in finding balance between the Masculine and Feminine. When I launch into a balance with gusto and without centring myself, I usually fail. Much like many of my work tasks when tackled in a similar way!
Amazing things begin to happen when we learn to balance these two energies and when we take the ‘Middle Road to Life’!
Difficult challenges suddenly become achievable.