At least it helps when you are seeking balance.
What does balance feel like? When it is there, accessible in a standing, balancing pose, it can feel amazing. One can feel solid and grounded yet ethereal lightness in the physical body. I felt it in the above picture of me in Vrksasana (Tree Pose).
When balance eludes us, when we wobble or feel unsteady, it can feel yucky. I remember taking a class that was all about balance – mine was elusive this particular afternoon – and my reaction surprised me. I was angry about it.
Even as the instructor encouraged us to keep our sense of humor – throughout the 60 minutes of this class I felt a growing sense of frustration and anger at myself that I could not find my balance. I later realized that I had this reaction – it wasn’t something I observed during class. Lesson here? Even yoga teachers occasionally fail at maintaining a beginner mind or being an objective observer of what’s going on around us.
That same night, I left to teach a class and I shared my super-serious and somewhat grumpy reaction to what I assumed was supposed to be a lighthearted practice. And I vowed to lighten up, find balance and laugh a little more often. Easier said than done in many instances, but that night I remember really laughing and getting my students to laugh a lot.
It was a nice shift and one I recommend adopting the next time you feel unsteady – lift the corners of your mouth up and soon you may feel a little lighter.