Balance– now this is a biggie! It seems this month’s Positively Thrive theme came at just the right time. In the workshop we started things off by practising yoga poses that balanced the body. We then worked with balancing breath and meditated on affirmations to help understand when we felt balanced, and what was making us feel unbalanced in life.
Then we considered several mantras along the theme of ‘Balance’ and which ones spoke to us. Reflecting on my life, I realise that work, funnily enough, imbalances me a lot. It causes me a fair bit of anxiety and stress. It’s becoming clear that I live to workrather than work to live. And it’s time I changed this.
I’ve recently returned from a yoga retreat and coming back to work and hitting the ground running has been really hard. I had 10 wonderful days away and then I was back at work literally the next day and haven't had a day off since.
So, to get some balance in my life, I’ve taken the monumental step of taking people on to do work for me – I’ve actually started delegating a bit! And I’ve even got my sister working for me on a Thursday.
I’m also cutting back on work generally. I dog-sit a lot, and I've decided I'm not going to do it so much anymore. Basically, I’m being just that bit more selfish and letting go of making people happy which is a much better balance for me, because I’ve always thought of everyone else before myself.
Another thing Nina stressed was that an important part of ‘Balance’ is ensuring you reach your own potential and are continuing to grow and develop. So instead of the same old pattern of work-go to bed, work-go to bed, work-go to bed, I’m making space to do things for me.
I'm making plans. I'm doing my personal training, I've joined a kayaking club and I’m spending more time with my family which is something I haven’t done so much of lately. I also realise I want to travel more – so I’m planning trips for next year to give me more time for myself.
And most importantly, I’m doing yoga every single day. I’ve really grown to love it! I’ve bought myself a bolster, a pillow and a yoga mat so I can do it at home. That’s really been ‘my balance’.
And what’s been so amazing for my anxiety is doing the alternative nostril breathing that Nina suggested – known to yogis as Nadi Shodhana. You do exactly what is says – taking turns to inhale and exhale through the left and then the right nostril. The idea is that you then direct energy, separately, to both sides of the body – the left side apparently represents logic, decisions and fact and the right is emotions, intuition and imagination. Doing this helps bring balance to both these sides of our personality.
As well as 100% reducing my anxiety, I’ve also found the breathing and nostril work is really helpful when I can’t sleep. I highly recommend it!
So I’m now nearly a third of the way into the Positively Thrive series. I can’t believe the improved sense of wellbeing I’m feeling already and I’ve so enjoyed deepening my yoga practice as part of the journey. Next up is ‘Generosity’ and I’m really excited to explore this theme and see where it takes me next.
About Louise Rawlinson:
Lou is also a fully-fledged member of the Positively Thrive tribe, a regular to Nina’s weekly yoga classes and a Casale San Pietro yoga retreat junkie! She is also the original ‘Hampton dog walker’!
Check back here to read more about her continuing journey as a Positively Thrive Triber or learn more about how Positively Thrive can help you here.