Have you ever got injured? For most people there has been a time in your life where something has ceased to work to its full potential. The body is incredible at balancing tension via its tensile structure and distributing load via the whole network but if one area comes under too much stress it can break. As one area becomes more mobile another will undoubtedly compensate with structure ... this is just one example of balance.
If we analyse everything around us we see that where there are extremes there is also rest, hard needs soft, fast needs slow and stress needs recovery. If we bring these concepts back to the body which is undoubtedly a result of millions of years of evolution and a product of the universe around us, we see balance everywhere.
The symbol representing the concept of 'Yin and Yang' highlights this need for balance with the Yin element contained within the Yang and the Yang within the Yin, all of this is contained within a circle. It also shows how opposite elements (light and dark) are complimentary to each other as one combined concept and how separate elements are in fact far more efficient when working in conjunction with each other. It is impossible to not draw reference to the opposite when talking about 'yin' or 'yang' as it forms a part of the whole circle ... where there is a top there is also a bottom and where there is strength there is also weakness.
One example can be seen via someone who operates at a high stress level for prolonged periods of time, which undoubtedly is sure to eventually hit rock bottom through things like adrenal fatigue and exhaustion. Although we can temporarily trick ourselves into pushing through this it is not the optimal result for an organism that seeks homeostasis and balance. On the flip side stress is also essential for growth and changing your 'mid-point', but as mentioned in previous blogs 'eustress' is stress that we can add gradually and adapt to in time. So the challenge is to become more receptive to your potential capabilities but also understanding when you need to recover for optimal performance!
In a life or death situation the ability to 'keep going' is something that is essential but undoubtedly requires a form of recovery after the event has happened. For most of us we are not in these situations daily and thus need to be intelligent about the way we add load to our bodies via training, practice or our general lifestyle. My training over the years has gravitated towards a varied loading of stress over a 3-4 day period, increasing intensity with every day that passes eventually resting (mobility and low intensity movement) until the cycle starts again. This allows for optimal balance and even with this structure in place adaptions and compensations need to be taken in order to flow with my lifestyle ... and staying aware is always a challenge!
The concept of balance is to understand that everything develops from the collective addition of both and that extremes can be attained as-long as both ends of the scale are honoured. Make sure you challenge your limits but also rest when you need to to be able to come back stronger the next time. It is not the avoidance or denial of the existence of either but the acceptance that where there is one there is the other and because of this, the whole in its entirety.
I'll leave you with this quote -
“We are only different because there exists something to be different from, and it is this difference that bonds us.” ― Chris Matakas