Guest Author - Tracy Webb
Many yoga postures involve balance; The Tree being the most common one. It is usually the time most people dread as they know they will be hopping around on one foot, falling to the side or worse still falling over.
I must admit that I have struggled with balancing postures. It takes a lot of concentration and focus to maintain a posture while standing on one leg. Balance is an integral aspect of any yoga practice. Regular practice is a great way to unite balance of the mind, body and spirit.
Here are some tips and ideas that may assist you with finding balance during postures.
Balancing requires that you are completely present and aware of yourself and your body. Before attempting any posture, bring your attention inwards, close your eyes and tune in to your breath. This simple act brings stillness to the mind and increases your chances of holding the posture without falling over.
Take It Slowly
Take your time to stabilize your feet. Plant them firmly on the ground and spread the toes out to increase your base. Ensure that your weight is evenly distributed between both feet. Stand in this position with your eyes closed for a few minutes. You may be amazed at how much movement there actually is in stillness.
Focus In Front Of You
Once you have your stability and are centered within, it can also be helpful to train your eye on something in front of you. Gaze softly at something stationery to give you a focus outside of you as well as inside; the breath.
Stand Barefoot On The Floor
Not all yoga mats are conducive to the practice. Some are flimsy, and made of material that causes you to slip. The sticky mats are the best. However, if you are practicing on a wooden floor, it may be easier for you to achieve balance on the floor as it can bring more stability.
Use A Support
In the beginning stages it may seem particularly challenging. If this is the case, try to stand near a wall or similar that you can use for support. Go through the centering as mentioned above, and use the support until you are able to balance on your own.
Balance of the body is something that you have to work at, and is not something that can just be performed on demand. It takes care and attention each and every time to ensure that the necessary stability is achieved. Once you have mastered inner balance, the easier it will be to find the balance required for holding and performing postures.