Yoga For A World Out Of Balance

Photo taken by Sherry Robinson - Notice Quiet Nature Photography 2010
Vidette Gold Mine-Resort, Deadman Valley, Savona, BC

Sporadic yellow leaves dangle on the trees as if painted mysteriously, hinting that inevitable change is coming. As the sweet aroma of ripening fruit waifs in the air, birds collectively call out to gather and forage in the neighbourhood. I have to keep an eye out for all these visitors not only to keep them away from the fruit, but soon it will be time to hang up the bird feeder under the maple tree.

Over eight years, I have watched the young Maple tree spread her limbs higher and canopy over the yard outside my studio window. She too hints that autumn is here. I can see one red leaf on the flaming Maple tree hinting that soon, she too will be ablaze of brilliant color and reflecting her light inside my studio.

We mainly focus on the leaves of trees to notice the passage of seasons, although trees are also a symbol of balance. Trees remain balanced because of its roots hidden beneath the ground. Despite continual changes or life threatening events, the roots hold and draw nutrients from the earth. Beneath the trees lie layers of geological history in the earth like stacked pages part of a larger story.

Therefore, like a tree, we too can remain rooted by deepening our awareness of ancient wisdom, the interdependence of human and nonhuman life and the new shoots of modern psychology. We too can send out roots and shoots to strengthen our relationships and experience balance not only in our daily lives, yet for the world as well.

With the end of the summer season, I also came to the end of a great book. Its pages are curled; there are insights scribbled throughout and sticky notes popping out for future reflection. I close and rub its bright yellow cover that reminds me of an autumn leaf and with a sigh noting how I love contemplative books. This excellent book is, Yoga For A World Out Of Balance-Teachings on Ethics and Social Action by Michael Stone 2009 Shambhala Publications Inc.

Photo taken by Sherry Robinson- Notice Quiet Nature Photography 2010
This is an excellent book for Book Clubs or small groups
In Michael Stone’s book, he introduces the ancient teachings taught in the ancient Yoga Sutra by Patanjali and considered by Patanjali as universal ethical disciplines.  Michael applies them with modern psychology and ecology to our everyday lives.  These five principles or yamas are ethical suggestions that can increase awareness of the relationship between our actions and effects to help us respond and root us with clarity to live in a sustainable and respectful way in our current world out of balance.  As Yoga is a system of education more than a religion. This is an excellent book for book clubs and small discussion groups.

Yoga can be more than just an hour on the mat a couple times a week. An exploration of Yoga can take us deeper and show us the interconnectedness of all life, which includes the elements, the breath, the body, and the mind. To balance our own lives, is to balance the world.

Overlooking Schiedam Flats near Kamloops, BC ~ Photo by Audrey Meuse 2010
It really does not matter that you can hold the poses perfectly. Breathe and hold the pose even for a couple of seconds. Feel the focused balance. Feel the momentary stillness and clarity. 

“Look into the nature of any one thing and you begin to see where it stretches out,
what sustains it, and how it interacts with other things. There is no separation.”
 ~Yoga For a World Out Of Balance pg 158 by Michael Stone 2009

Michael Stone will lead a retreat workshop, Yoga For A World Out Of Balance at Hollyhock on Cortes Island, BC in July 20-24 2011. I highly recommend this retreat destination.
For more information visit:

For more information on Michael Stone, his books and his teaching schedule

For more information about Shambhala Publications:

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  1. Dropping by to say how much I enjoyed your eloquently written piece about the Maple tree and balance. You expressed so well how life lessons are bound to nature.

  2. Thank your for taking time to read!

  3. You have a beautiful website, I'm interested in reading the book. I'll be going out to find it soon. Thanks.