I was at a yoga class last week which is called Holy Yoga. Basically, it was yoga with prayer and reflection on Jesus, faith and the Bible. One of the things the teacher said that got me thinking is that balance is the absence of tension.
When you are doing yoga, a very important part of the practice—if not the most important part—is to breathe. If you have a sore muscle for example, if you breathe into the stretch, it helps you to release the tension and get deeper into the pose. And when you are doing a balance pose, the breath helps release tension and allow you to balance. In fact, if you are tense, you tend not to be able to balance.
Last week at our SLC Ladies Night Out, we talked about stress, particularly in the holiday season. And that stress seems to be more prevalent the more out of balance we are. It is very difficult to remain in balance this time of year. Our lives are pulled in all kinds of different directions.
I enjoy reading the book of Proverbs. The book is attributed to Solomon, the great king who given one “wish” from God, chose to ask God to make him wise. Proverbs 30: 8-9 says, Two things I ask of you; do not deny them to me before I die: Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that I need. Or I shall be full, and deny you, and say, “Who is the Lord?” or I shall be poor, and steal, and profane the name of my God.”
I think it is fascinating that in a sense, he is asking God to just keep his life in balance. I don’t want to have too much, and I don’t want to have too little. Either one is a trap and can lead me to being false or to not going to God for what I need.
It is always vital to seek balance in our lives, but probably no other time more so than this time of year. It is so easy to get sucked into overspending and over-eating. Or to start thinking that we don’t have enough and that everyone else has more. My kids were making their Christmas lists the other week, and it was interesting that at times, it seemed to stress them out more than be a joy, because they would worry about not getting all they wanted, or do they really want that, or what do I want the most….What should have been fun, became full of tension.
That is what gets us out of balance. When we don’t have enough of one thing, or too much of another thing.
So I’m going to join with Solomon and pray for and seek balance this holiday season and always. And I’m going to breathe. Did you know a name for the Holy Spirit is the breath of God? So breathe, invite God in, breathe into your tension. And seek balance.