Life’s a Great Balancing Act

I have been thinking a lot about Dancer’s Pose lately.

Dancer’s Pose is a yoga pose that incorporates aspects of balance and strength. To get into Dancer’s Pose, you start by balancing on your left leg with your left arm extended straight up next to your ear. Grab the inside of your right foot with your right hand.

If you are new to yoga, this is usually where the wobbling will start, and sometimes Dancer’s Pose will stop here. Yoga is often called “practice” and it is okay for your practice to stop here today. Over time, you will develop your strength and balance to be able to move further into Dancer’s Pose.

The more you practice Dancer’s Pose, the more strength you build and you learn which muscles you need to engage, and how forcefully to engage them, to progress to a deeper version of Dancer’s Pose. I stand balancing on my left foot, lifting up through my left arm and rib cage, spreading my toes on my yoga mat for balance, squeezing my quad and my core, before I feel ready to move deeper into the pose.

Deep Breath.

Pull your right foot with your right arm as you simultaneously kick out with your right foot, leaning forward to shift your center of gravity. Look at the ground about two feet in front of you. You are now balancing in Dancer’s Pose!

I love Dancer’s Pose because I need to be fully present to hold the pose steady. I have to let go of all the extra thoughts that are constantly buzzing around in my head like “I need to finish report cards in two days.” Or “That pile of laundry is not going to put itself away.” If I focus on the buzzing, I will fall out of the pose and have to start over. Even if it is just for a moment, Dancer’s Pose will quiet the noise and bring me back to the present moment.

Dancer’s Pose is the ideal image of my New Year’s Resolution. Every year, I resolve to do my best to find a balance between work, life, and everything in between. I always need to figure out which parts of my life to strengthen, which parts are no longer serving me, and which parts I need to be intentional about engaging in. I keep this resolution every year because as life changes, I am always striving to find balance. This year is no different, but I am adding on to this resolution: be present in the moment.

As I move forward into the New Year, I will try to maintain balance in my life by working late one night each week. My goal is to use this one day to catch up on all the things, and then the other four days of the week can be spent guilt and worry-free with my husband and son.

What are your New Year’s Resolutions? How do you find balance and stay present?


Caitlin Gawlowski

I was born to be a teacher, although I did not realize that teaching was my calling until I began college. I have always loved to write and began college with the mindset of becoming a journalist. Before I began my freshman year of college, I changed my major to Elementary Education on a whim and have never looked back. I graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Arizona State University and won the Outstanding Student Teacher Award during my student teaching experience in the Cave Creek Unified School District.
I spent 7 years in the Washington Elementary School District teaching 2nd and 3rd grade. I became a National Board Certified Teacher in 2018, and I hold a certificate in Early and Middle Childhood Literacy: Reading/Language Arts. The 2019-2020 school year marks the beginning of my 8th year teaching, where I will be teaching 3rd grade English Language Learners, and supporting other National Board candidates on their journey toward National Board certification.
If I am lucky enough to have free time, you can find me planning my wedding, spending time with my infant son and fiancé, taking group fitness classes, or enjoying a good book.

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