Spring Equinox: The Myth of Life Balance

This Friday at 12:21am is the Spring Equinox, the moment of perfect balance between light and dark. Spring is a time for us to open the windows and doors, to clean out the clutter of winter and make room for growth as we transition to warmer, lighter days. If we planted seeds of intention at the Winter Solstice, then the Spring Equinox inspires the transition of their tender shoots into the wide-open space, sunlight, and nourishment that will permit them to grow to their fullest expression. We talk a lot about balance in yoga, and many of us are looking for more balance in our lives. Often it’s why we’ve come to yoga in the first place. No matter who you are, or what your role in life, the quest for balance seems to be universal. So why then, is it so hard to find?

The Equinox, the point of balance between light and dark is thought of as a day of equipoise and symmetry. But in truth the light and dark are not balanced on this day. They’re not even equal for a minute because the instant the Equinox occurs at 12:21am, the scales tip, just as they have tipped every 6 months since the beginning of time. For us in the Southern Hemisphere, we’ll tip toward the light, as our friends in the North lean into the dark. What this says about balance is that it is dynamic, and ever-changing. Rather than desperately trying to find a point of stillness to hold tight to, balance is about gracefully navigating change and evolution. It’s an elegant dance that gets more refined with practice.

In this way balance is not a final goal, at the end of which you’ll find yourself in a state of deep peace that lasts until you die. Balance is an ongoing process, a practice. You don’t hear too many people say they are perfecting yoga. We practice yoga, and any practice is about a process of steady performance over time, and under a wide variety of conditions. Finding balance is engaging in the practice of living fully. It’s about finding fleeting points of equilibrium in the dynamic, ever-changing flow of life. It’s dancing with our circumstances in a way that balances our needs with the needs of others, what we take with what we give. It’s being fluid and adaptable as life ebbs, and flows, and rolls on.

So this equinox, whether you’re on holiday, changing jobs, moving house, or living life as usual, remember that you are never not in transition. As we ponder how to cultivate more balance in our lives, may we practice steadily, live fully, and enjoy the process.

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