Balancing in the wind and stormy conditions
Why can we balance so easily one day. And then the next there is no co-ordination? Or perhaps balance is your thing, your favourite part of any yoga class. Something that comes easy to you. Or perhaps you hate any of the balancing yoga poses. Finding them challenging hard and rather annoying. Never able to balance and always feeling wobbly and falling out of the pose.
There can be many reasons for feeling out of balance. Perhaps your are feeling distracted and unfocused. If so, yoga and the balancing poses are in fact perfect for you.
To balance we need focus (too much focus and fire can bring us out of balance too). We need one-pointedness and concentration. Both are part of the journey towards meditation.
I love tree pose, or vrkasana. It is wonderful for alignment cues. But also for balance. And we can use the metaphor of the tree blowing in the wind. Some days the tree is still and steady. Other days it feels like the tree (and our tree pose) is in the middle of a hurricane.
Another favourite we have practised in class recently is Garudasana, eagle pose. Garuda is a deity: appearing part bird and part human. But the wonderful thing about the asana is the sense of hugging in, stabilising, grounding – and yet you embody the eagle or Garuda flying high. The eagle isn’t a light little bird. This creature is strong and powerful. It is solid and grounded – even when flying high. It has laser sharp focus and concentration. How can we embody that in our asana and in our life?
Living by the beach I fully see, feel and hear the effect of the wind. Some days a gentle breeze and the water is very still, gentle waves and calm. Other times the waves are high, the sound of the water and the wind together is almost overwhelming. This is the effect of Mother Nature and her manifestation as wind.
In ayurveda wind is sometimes referred to as vayu and the element of air. Air along with space are connected to Vata dosha.
Increased Vata can manifest as over-thinking, nervousness, anxiety, jumpy thoughts, jittery or being fidgety. When we can not concentrate or our thoughts keep jumping – we can not find balance. There is no balance in our yoga practise and no balance in our mind.
- To create balance be patient and kind to your self
- Practise your balance poses and observe without judgement when, or if, you fall or wobble
- Take it step by step. You don’t need to do the full expression of the yoga pose – you have permission to use support (wall/blocks/chairs).
- Take an extra breath
- The breath
- Balance the breath = balance the mind = balance the body
- Steady your breathing, easy, relaxed, long and natural
Let’s do a poll here.
Whether you find balance poses such as tree pose and Garudasana easy or challenging – do you love them or dislike them?
Write your thoughts below: