Balancing Acts

tree-fallingBalance is something we are fond of talking about in yoga. We are always seeking balance both in our postures and in our busy lives.

These past few days have been a bit of a blur for me. Nothing bad, just really busy. Life stuff – moving my mom, painting her place, figuring out back to school for the kids, going back to work after a bit of time off, groceries and laundry and dishes, oh my …!

As you can see, nothing earth shattering. Still, all together it left me feeling a little overwhelmed and kind of ungrounded.

In the midst of making dinner last night, my mind was a million miles away, thinking, planning, worrying. One of my boys asked me for something. It was not a big deal but I didn’t have room for anything else. I snapped at him.

I remember one yoga class, when practicing Tree Pose, my teacher said something that I love: “Balancing poses are not about falling. They’re about learning to get back up with grace.”

tree-standingThe way that I responded to my little guy last night, that was a fall. I felt awful and mean. I am not sure how graceful it was, but I apologized to him and we figured out a solution to his request (hugs and kisses followed – much to his chagrin).

Balancing poses embody harmony, confidence and power. They teach you to find your center. In balancing, your body moves in and out of center. In response, you make a series of small movements to align your body and bring it back to a place of balance. Physically you need to engage, draw into your core muscles. Yet at the same time you have to soften and relax. Mentally you need to find a place of focus.

Once you find that steadfast place and are just feeling it … there’s a good chance you might just fall. My usual reaction is a combination of frustration and laughter. Whatever it is, observe, take a breath and simply find the pose again. Getting back up. That is power.

Some days all the parts of my body seem to work together and I feel like I could stay in Tree Pose forever. Other days it’s more like a few seconds. We can’t guarantee against falls in yoga practice or in life. But we can always get back up.

Do you have any favourite balancing postures? Next week I will send out a balancing sequence. I have yet to create it but seems that is what my body and soul are asking for. I look forward to sharing it with you.

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