In the yoga class, and even in a personal practice, balances tend to result in lots of wobbling. Wobbling is optional. Infact, one should embrace the wobbling as it is a reflection of where we are at that point. Balances don’t have to be complicated, or on a tight rope or on your hands with your legs in the air. In fact, the best balances are those that are functional, every day balances that we do often without thinking about it. When we stand still, we balance. When we walk – it is an act of balancing, one foot at a time. Movement keeps us going forward but if we slow down the walking to slo-mo’ we begin to really experience walking as a balancing act.
Slowing down the walking to an absolute slow-mo’ is a real exploration of balance. Its something that we can do anywhere, and at any time. Stopping mid walk with one foot off, and one foot on is a wonderful way to explore balances and somehow it feels more natural than classic yoga balancing postures.
One of the great things about physical balancing is that it seems to be directly connected to our mental state, and as such we can use a balance to re-balance our minds.
Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras talks about yoga being something that can still the constantly turning mind. Getting into a balance can do just that. It provides a focus for the mind and as such it can stop the turning and churning thoughts we have as we focus. As a result it can give us calmness and mental equilibrium or mental balance.
Doing a slo-mo’ walk, where you really explore what balancing on one foot is like has the added reassurance that while you will wobble, you wont fall down, because you are in motion moving forward. There’s a lot of talk about mindfulness meditation and this sort of movement – or movely as I call it is a good introduction to mindfulness.