How Balancing on One Leg Keeps Me in the Moment

I like to balance on one foot a lot.  I wouldn’t call it a hobby, per say, but it is certainly something I do often.  I balance on one foot while chopping vegetables, making dinner, standing around talking to friends or waiting for SEPTA (you can get a lot of balancing in waiting for SEPTA…). Standing on one foot is something I have always done and it just feels comfortable to me. I am often not even aware that I am doing it. This might be why I am drawn to standing balancing poses in my yoga practice.  I LOVE balancing sequences.   The other day I was in a class where we went from  Eagle Pose to Dancer to Half Moon to a Standing Split.   It was great.  Whenever I am in a class where we do more then two balancing poses in a row I get happy.

It is often challenging to go from one pose to the next in a sequence when half of your ground has been taken away but it always a time in my practice when I feel the most connected and grounded.  It takes concentration to keep your balance.  It requires you to be in the present and in the moment or else you will come out of the pose.  Whenever my mind drifts to something else in a balancing pose my body reacts by swaying or stumbling.  If I come back to the now I can bring stillness to the pose again.

Often teachers speak of finding your Drishti when you are in a balancing asana.  This is a focal point or point of concentration.  I often look at the ground just ahead of me or a point in my eye line just in front of me.  It is also helpful to start from the ground up.  Find a strong foundation with your standing leg before you begin to  bring the opposite leg up.  Also, realize that it is okay to fall out of a balancing pose. A remember a teacher saying to a class a few times that whenever you fall out of a balancing pose you have to say “HA HA HA” aloud.  I always liked this because it is a way to keep your ego out of the process.  People often get frustrated when they come out of Tree pose or Half Moon or other balances.  It’s okay to waver.  It’s okay to fall out of the pose.  Just come back to it.  It is a perfect example of how yoga is a meditation.  When you meditate and your mind wanders you bring it back.  It will wander.  It’s okay.  Just bring it back.  And if it happens again and again and again you just keep bringing it back to the moment.  When I practice these poses I am in the moment.  So maybe when I am standing on one foot while making dinner or talking to a friend, it is my body’s way of reminding me to be present in all that I do.

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