While balancing in a yoga pose, we sometimes shift too far forward or backward, or too far to one side or the other, and we end up tipping over. Fortunately, we have 3 tips to help us stay as balanced as possible:
1. A FIRM FOUNDATION: This means we get the widest base possible but spreading the hands or feet we are balancing on as wide - but also as comfortable and stable as possible. We keep our joints mobile by NOT locking out the knees or elbows.
2. A STEADY GAZE AT A OBJECT IN OUR NATURAL LINE OF SIGHT: While we teeter to and fro, it's always a good idea to have a fixed point to direct our gaze. This point should be within our natural line of sight while in the working position of the pose - so we don't have to test our balance even further by attempting to stare at something we're not immediately and naturally facing. It's also a good idea to make sure your practicing balance poses in a well-lit area so you can keep your focused gaze clearly on your chosen point.
3. A CALM AND RELAXED BREATH: It's much easier to balance while the body is calm and relaxed. This is best indicated by the quality and quantity of our breath. Calm efficient breathing allows for calm and efficient balance.
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OFF THE MAT, we also can struggle with balance.
We can tip too far forwards in one direction or another and fall over.
Sometimes we work too much, or not enough.
We socialize too much, or not enough.
We may sleep too much, or not enough.
We may exercise too much, or not enough.
Clean too much, or not enough.
Study too much, or not enough.
Read too much, or not enough.
Or eat too much, or not enough.
We may party too much, or not enough.
Sometimes we let our emotions get the best of us too often, or not enough.
Or we care too deeply, or not enough.
Or we think too much, or not enough.
Just as there are so many yoga poses from which we can fall out of balance,
There are many areas in our lives where we can also fall out of balance
We're all prone to fall.
And we all have our own unique ways in doing so.
But what if the same three tips that help us maintain balance on the mat can help us balance off the mat as well?
We can find our FIRM FOUNDATION in our faith, our family, our friends, or our principles - whatever it is that supports you as you seek balance in your life.
We can keep a STEADY NATURAL FORWARD-FACING GAZE on our goals - or on our more idealized, well-balanced self.
We can keep a CALM AND STEADY BREATH - a calm approach - to our own unique balance challenges that life throws our way. A practical application of this would be to embrace the principle that before doing anything of significance (like going head-to-head with our most pernicious balance challenges), it's a good idea to DO NOTHING - fully and completely. A relaxed body accompanied by clear and steady breathing sets the stage for clear and steady thinking.