Friday, May 15, 2015

I can't do yoga, I have no balance

     As a yoga teacher, the title phrase makes me crazy when I hear someone say it. Improving balance is one of the reasons one practices yoga! I have NEVER seen a human that can hang out for hours like a pink flamingo can!
     I recently had a request for comment from a yoga practitioner who is frustrated with what she considers slow progress in improving her balance. This is my response:
People generally expect way too much of themselves regarding balance. It is extremely variable day to day. This is related to two things: 1. Gravity. It's relentless :) Even with the smiley face, I'm quite serious. There is ALWAYS a force pulling us down. 2. Balancing (in the many ways we may be called upon to do it) is not a natural act, and therefore, we're not balancing all the time. We maybe practice it a few minutes a few times a week. If we did it for hours a day, we could do the pink flamingo thing. Telling yourself, "I can't balance" will just get you more of "I can't balance." What you focus on expands. There is great value in using the mantra: "My balance is improving" when you are practicing balance. Your body listens, and will take that positive intent and make it happen. I often say to my classes that it's a good thing I don't have to have perfect balance to teach yoga! Some days I'm sturdy, some days not. That's why it's called a practice.
 Balance is just another of the many places we "beat up" on ourselves, and it's a great place to stop that practice. After all, our natural, organic state on all levels IS balanced.

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