Mindfulness is the Foundation for Building a Balanced Life
One of SoVital’s favorite artists is Michael Grab, a stone balancing artist and photographer who travels globally to create structures that essentially defy gravity. The irony…Grab refers to his stone balancing creations as “gravity glue.”
On his website he states that, “gravity is the glue that holds these structures in equilibrium.” He explains that he uses mindfulness to get into a meditative state to find each stone’s balancing point. “Achieving a challenging balance requires patience, and becoming fully in touch with NOW.”
The SoVital brand was created with Grab’s stone balancing approach in mind. Just like Grab, SoVital believes in building a strong foundation by developing classes that energize the heart, body, mind, and soul. In stone balancing, the artist studies his immediate environment, gathers the resources available to him, harnesses the patience it takes to achieve the plan, and engages physically to build a solid, balanced structure. SoVital’s classes are designed in the same manner.
Self-Discovery Comes by Practicing Mindfulness
When we create our classes, we draw from the results-oriented, time-tested approaches of yoga, pilates, and meditation to plan intelligently-sequenced classes meant to develop and harness strength physically, mentally, and spiritually. This foundation, or practice, provides the structure used to face all areas and activities of life. For SoVital, the four pillars (or stones) most deeply represent the quest for self-discovery through challenging workouts in order to reach our goals, dreams, and fulfill our greatest potential.
From a personal perspective, my journey to becoming a yoga instructor has taught me a lot about the power of mindfulness and meditation. Just like Grab, I use my mind and body to carefully build yoga sequences to bring equilibrium and balance to my life and the lives of others. However, I must admit, prior to becoming an instructor, I had difficulty sticking with meditation. I had the misconception that to reach a meditative state you had to sit cross-legged on the floor in complete silence with eyes closed and empty your brain of any thoughts. After 10 to 15 minutes, all I gained was a state of frustration and an achy back.
Mindfulness Isn’t One-Size-Fits-All
It wasn’t until I learned that mindfulness comes in all shapes and sizes, that I was able to find the most effective form for me. Obviously, practicing yoga is one, but I also enjoy practicing mindfulness while walking or hiking in nature, creating art, as well as listening to guided meditations. And, upon learning about Michael Grab, I’ve even tried a little stone balancing.
While hiking at Joshua Tree National Park in southeastern California, I stopped at about the halfway mark to build my own rock pyramid. While I was building it, I felt a sense of peace within. I considered the way in which most of us work to balance the different aspects of our life, such as family, work, friends, health, and happiness to try and create harmony. Similarly, we are often faced with adversities that threaten to break this balance. Mindfulness is a great way to notice these adversities as they arise and respond appropriately to get that balance back.
So, the next time you are out in nature, whether on a bike ride, at the beach, or taking a walk on a quiet street, I encourage you to do it mindfully. And, if the opportunity arises, stop and take some time to create a stone balancing structure. You may find it’s your new favorite way to meditate.
What other ways do you practice mindfulness? Let us know in the comments below.