Every Imbalance Has A Meaning
You can treat symptoms but your imbalance will likely return since you haven’t found its cause.
You can treat the cause but the work will still be incomplete since you have not understood the message.
Every illness, pain, or imbalance is nothing but a concealed message cleverly delivered to help us understand who we are and assist us in our path and life purpose.
It's safe to say we've all experienced injury or illness at some point in our lives (and some of us have experienced many). But how often do we stop to consider the message that the imbalance brings? How often do we ignore the small signs of imbalance, only to be forced to pay attention once the problem becomes a serious one?
For me, injury or illness often signals I am pushing too hard in the wrong direction, and it's time to either back off or redirect my efforts. If I can pay attention to the message sooner rather than later, I save myself a lot of anguish.
Also, as Jesus mentioned, taking the message of imbalance to heart can shape us into better, stronger versions of ourselves. The intense illness I experienced last month after ingesting a food-borne toxin was rough, but it taught me important lessons about the power of intention and my body's ability to heal. Once I directed my focus away from worry and into healing, my recovery was speedy and rather miraculous!
Beyond injury and illness, we continually encounter simple physical imbalance when we practice yoga. How many postures are more difficult on one side than the other, for instance? Written in our bodies is the complex tale of our lives; all physical, emotional, and mental trauma we've experienced manifests there in some way. Yoga can be an incredible tool for working through the "messages" we might have ignored in the past. Mercifully, in Ashtanga yoga, it seems we are given lots of time and space and the appropriate technique through the Tristana method and the progressive series to work through our imbalances as we're ready to address them.
Early on in my Ashtanga practice, I had one such poignant experience when I had an emotional reaction to putting my leg behind my head... I had a lot of physical and emotional trauma stored in my hamstrings. It took some time to understand the message, but once I did, it was a lot easier to overcome the limitation.
Next time you come against any sort of imbalance, take a moment to reflect on the message inherent there. I will remember to do the same.