Welcome yogis – beginners, well-seasoned, and everyone in-between – to your weekly yoga video.
And welcome back to the Back to Yoga Basics series, where we’re welcoming new yoga students to their mat, creating a safe space for learning, and covering the foundations of what to expect for the yoga journey ahead.
Today’s class has one major goal and it’s one that we all work towards and can relate to….
How to Build Balance.
If you’re a regular on the yoga mat, then balance shouldn’t be new to you, however – it doesn’t mean it’s not a challenge for you. And if you’re new to the yoga practice, then get ready, because we love to build balance, cultivate awareness, and test your standing on one leg, twist your body the other way abilities.
….. there’s no true test though, so don’t fret.
Often times when we first step on the mat and are asked to stand on one leg, the experience is short lived. But why is this? Why is it so difficult to balance and maintain composure?
Well, I have two theories and of course, I feel the need to explain.
Theory #1: We Don’t Practice Balance
When I say we don’t practice balance, I’m referring to our daily lives.
Take a moment to reflect on how your days unfold. Do the words rushed, exhausted, stretched, short fused, lack of energy, lack of clarity and lack of balance come to mind?
Well, before I started practicing yoga this was my exact day. I had zero awareness around how to cultivate a mindful day through healthy food choices, a movement practice, intelligent inspiration, and a positive outlook.
Instead, I ate whatever the fuck I wanted (because at the time I could), moved by body with the goal to “get skinny”, participated in negative conversations (hello gossip), digested reality TV, consumed gossip magazines, and didn’t put much thought into shaping my reality or my future.
……. is this sounding familiar or what.
Fast forward to the present moment and a handful of years on m yoga mat, and I’m beginning to learn the beautiful practice of cultivating balance through my daily actions. I am nowhere near perfecting it. I fall off multiple times a day. I still consume shitty foods from time to time. I don’t make it to my mat every damn day.
But the silver lining is, I always come back and start again.
And I believe this starting again practice is what yoga has taught me and what yoga can teach you, because here’s the deal, you will fall. You will come out of the posture. You will become frustrated. You will lose your concentration. And you will deem a yoga pose as – “that’s just not for me”.
But through time and a consistent practice, you will learn that that pose is for you and that this mindful living stuff is also for you. And through that experience, you will begin to practice balance.
Theory #2: We’re Out of Practice
This theory is more cut and dry, no major woo-woo life lessons to explain, but the actual reality of the situation.
We don’t practice balancing on one foot, on our head, on our forearms, on the backs of our arms, and most certainly not on our hands. But you’ll quickly come to experience that yoga teachers will ask you to do all of the above.
….. don’t worry, this class is for beginner yogis, so we will only do the balance on one foot thing today.
And instead of allowing frustration + comparison to creep onto the yoga mat and tarnish your yoga experience, I invite you to welcome falling out of the pose. Identify your falls as growth, change and courage. And then try again.
Or use a yoga prop to help you. Or stand by the wall for extra stability. Or focus on a drishti point, a point of concentration. Or ask a yoga friend/teacher to spot you.
But don’t assume that because you’re falling all over the damn place, that this yoga practice isn’t for you.
Because it is.
So with that said, what balancing postures can you expect today. Below is a quick snapshot and then let’s get started:
- twisted crescent pose
- chair pose with airplane arms
- warrior III
- tree pose
- eagle pose
Alright yogis, we’ve jammed on this whole balance thing enough and now it’s time step on our mats and do the work together!