The Balance of Being

By Shana Kuhn-Siegel, May, 2008

I am amazed at this spring, this conflagration,
Of green fires lit on the soil of the earth, this blaze,
Of growing, and sparks that puff in wild gyration,
Faces of people streaming across my gaze…”
– DH Lawrence from The Enkindled Spring

It is said that April showers bring May flowers, but it seems to me that they have already arrived. Lilacs, daffodils, cherry blossoms. Spring is in full bloom, even in the city. Nature is awakening and so too are we. People are moving outside, their bodies entwined in a dance of eagerness and whimsy, intoxicated by the warmer weather and the abundance that spring reveals.

I find myself mesmerized by the snapshots that I see: friends lunching together on the benches in Washington Square Park, bodies strewn in wild shapes all over Sheep’s Meadow in celebration of the fences finally opening, the vibrant shades of Green Market offerings in Union Square, lovers entangled everywhere, children clamoring for more time on the jungle gym, and the trees proudly showcasing their latest vivid designs.

With all this abundance, it is easy to move out too far, to become caught up in the busy-ness of activities. How do we maintain presence when external stimulations abound? How do we move out and in simultaneously?

Spring is a time of transformation and growth, but it is also a period of cleansing and regeneration; the perfect time to look clearly at what excesses we might be holding onto and to learn to let go and shed a little, surrendering to what is in each moment. Eckhart Tolle writes, “the entire civilization is losing itself in doing that is not rooted in Being”. Spring invites us to watch this dance in ourselves. To move out and play, while maintaining steadiness and grounding so that we don’t lose ourselves in a state of mindless intoxication.

How do we find this balance? Maybe it is from the birds that we might draw some understanding. I find their flight spectacular to watch, especially when I am at the beach. There is this beautiful balance between the energy of their ascent and the enthusiasm in their wingspans, coupled by the way that they appear suspended in midair, as if surrendering to the winds, but not defined by them or fighting against them.

May we all celebrate this month by exploring this delicate balance, moving outside more and honoring all the abundance while challenging ourselves to stay present, in a state of perpetual being.

Shana Kuhn-Siegel

Shana Seigel has been teaching yoga for over 15 years after she took the first-ever teacher training program offered at Yoga Shanti in Sag Harbor. After getting her Masters in Social Work from NYU, she ran the the first Urban Zen Foundation, a nonprofit started by Donna Karan, the pilot program held at Beth Israel Hospital. Shana is grateful for all the teachers she studied with over the years, especially Colleen Saidman Yee and Rodney Yee. She is also inspired by the groundbreaking work of Nevine Michaan and her Katonah Yoga method. Shana’s classes are playful, intuitive and challenge students to move beyond limiting beliefs. She is grateful for all her students and for her private clients who offer her opportunities to learn more every day. She is especially grateful for having met her spiritual mentor ten years ago who inspires and challenges her to live each day authentically and in constant pursuit of the truth!

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