Find and Keep Your Balance in Yoga
One of the hardest things for me in my practice is balance. Balance is defined in yoga as being truly present within the moment in order to maintain focus in the mind to allow the body to relax in each pose.
If you have ever practiced yoga, whether a newbie or experienced yogi, you’ve had days where you just couldn’t hold a Warrior III, Eagle, or inversions like Pincha when moving through your flow. When you can’t seem to find your balance, take note that it’s not your body, it’s your mind.
Practice Stillness for the Mind.
Meditation helps the mind when it comes to finding balance. The first step in achieving balance within the physical portion of your practice is to discover it for the mind. Stillness in the mind, putting at bay busy thoughts and stress, is equivalent to balancing on one foot or your hands in yoga. You’ll need to practice both in order to allow each to benefit from one another.
Instruct Your Body.
Your body listens to the mind. It’s more powerful than we can give it credit for, as we don’t fully have the capacity to understand the mind. However, we do know that if your mind is focusing on holding a pose and remaining present within that single moment, your body will do the same.
Ground Yourself. Feel Your Feet.
Entering into even a high lunge can set your body off balance during your flow. This
happened yesterday to me in my practice, and each time the class entered a lunge, my body wobbled into it as I tried to find my bearings.
Have you ever felt ungrounded without understanding what was going on beneath the surface? It’s easy to blame any mishap or stress developing within our lives for why we are falling off balance, but truly it is our job to remain grounded and work towards
maintaining a sense of calm.
When looking for methods to ground yourself, start with your roots (your feet). Walking outdoors, preferably barefoot and on natural Earth, is extremely beneficial for the human body. There have been several studies on this medical act of “Earthing” that brings human beings back to their maker.
Block the Thoughts.
Using yoga blocks to give your hands a focus for better grounding, also gives that gift to your mind. These props are good for those days you wish to expand flexibility in the spine, as well as for providing a new surface for your body to look for and remember.
As your hands touch down into Half Moon or another pose, you’ll look and reach for your yoga blocks. Doing this will help you focus your attention on the present task at hand without distraction, as you’ll have more than just your legs to keep you occupied.
Yoga blocks, whether made of foam, wood, or cork, can be incorporated into your practice as a very special tool for those wishing to find better grounding, flexibility, and precision in each pose.
The days that we are off balance in our practice is a direct reflection of where our mind is at. Try practicing meditation each day, even a few minutes before your practice to ground your mind. Slow yourself down if needed and feel your way through each pose as well. These techniques help sync your mind and body, so you can escape the mind when