Balance as Nature Intended

Posted by Melissa Carmelo on

Think of all the things that require balance to function properly. To name a few in nature, there’s dusk and dawn, summer and winter, birth and death, herbivorous and carnivorous, etc. In life there’s also a balance between personal and professional life, exercise and diet, sleep and the time we’re awake, friends and family, etc. How often do we take the time to go inward and ask ourselves if we are balanced? I never used to. I was a competitive distance runner for 10 years and have spent the last 15 years running for “pleasure”, although “pleasure” was not the way to describe how I was feeling. I was in constant pain. I spent one day of the week visiting the physical or massage therapist to release tension I felt in my back, my shoulders, and of course in my legs and hips. I thought I was running to maintain a healthy lifestyle, but I was actually making it worse. During the recent lockdown due to Covid-19 I decided to go inward, and start healing myself from the inside out and discovered something that has changed my life forever...

Yin Yoga is not about being able to do all those crazy postures you see in photos. In fact, the practice of yoga is not about using the body to get into the pose; it´s about using the pose to get into the body. This is where inner healing starts. This is where my inner healing started and continues. Most yoga practices are designed to work the muscles, or in other words only half the body, while yin yoga works the tissues of our ligaments, joints and the bones. In yin yoga we get into postures that apply gentle pressure to the tissues for longer periods of time. This makes them grow stronger. A comparison would be the use of braces, which are worn for a period of time with slight pressure in order to reshape the jawbone and make out mouths perfectly balanced and beautiful. With exercise, most of the time we focus on making our muscles stronger but don’t think about making our tissues stronger too. You can find many yin yoga classes in yoga studios and on the web. My favorite teacher is Juliana from Boho Beautiful. She and her husband have a website and free videos on YouTube that have been more than an inspiration for me. The time of day you practice yin yoga is important and I usually find my ideal yin moment after a more “yang” type of balancing and strengthening yoga class, after jogging, or at the end of a long busy day. It has relieved tension, improved my mobility and cleared my mind. I actually feel younger than I did ten years ago!

I understand that not everyone who reads this is a dedicated yogi, but you don’t have to practice yoga to adjust and maintain balance in your life. Always remember how hard our amazing bodies work for us 24/7. The very least we could do is spend time returning the favor by bringing balance into our body and minds, and dedicating the time to care for it from the inside out. Be gentle, be mindful. I live by the idea that absolutely anything in excess is bad. It´s never too late to heal, love and evolve into the best possible version of yourself, from the inside out.

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