I wanted this week's blog post to be short and sweet, I'm feeling like that's what we need right now given all the chaos around us...
Do you find it hard to balance?
Tree pose. Half moon pose. Dancer's pose. Hand-to-big-toe pose. Warrior III pose. Bird of paradise pose. The list goes on...
I love standing balance poses.
I sway and I fall out of them, but I find them really invigorating and fun.
There's power in being able to stand on one leg.
I often hear teachers tell their students "Engage your standing leg. Look at one still object." in order to help their students balance.
It works, but there's another missing piece to those cues.
The tip that changed it for me
For me, the one tip that changed how I understood balancing was this: "Relax the bottom of your foot. It is your foundation. Allow your foundation to be firm, but relaxed."
It made me realize something SO obvious: Balancing is all about the standing leg... and that obviously includes the point of contact of that leg... the FOOT on the floor.
Ever since then, I've been able to think about standing balance poses from the bottom up, as opposed to a magical, rare occurrence.
If you can find stability in the lower body, particularly your feet and then find strength from the bottom up, you will then be able to create a foundation in which your weight can be put into that foot.
Whatever other "balancing act" such as lifting the other foot up, will become a secondary motion.
How I think about it now: Balance isn't about lifting that other leg up, balance is about the foundation that's laid down. Balance is about having that foundation in order to be in the pose.
So next time you're trying out a standing balance pose, I invite you to pay particular attention to your foot. I ask that you really notice the point of contact of your foot with the mat or floor and find your strength there, before doing anything else.
In conclusion: The root of it, is the foot of it.