“Practice being with yourself,” she said, as if I could be anything else.

But then, I’m not always so good at being with myself as I imagine is a pretty common sentiment. And I’m sure that is why our yoga instructor pointed us in that direction. We have a predilection to involve ourselves in a myriad of activities and surround ourselves with crowds of people and worry ourselves with external problems precisely so that we don’t have to be alone – with ourselves. 

Yoga has taught me balance – in many ways. I balance on one leg, with my arms stretched towards the sky for tree pose. But the practice of yoga has to extend further than that – we have to take it back to our minute-by-minute lives. Practicing yoga in a studio is the easy part, despite how hard it sometimes feels when I’m sweating through a perfectly aligned warrior pose, and the instructor tells me to take it deeper and further than I think I can. The real task comes when we have to bring that balance to our every day. To stay with ourselves – and accept ourselves (breathe!) – in each moment. To live in balance. I’m not so great at it, yet, which is why I keep practicing.