Last week I took a poll in class: How do you feel when I say, “Now we’re going to do a standing balance pose?”
A couple of people made a happy face, a couple of people did a “meh” shoulder shrug, and everybody else groaned.
Even without a poll, it’s written all over students’ faces — attempting “balance” poses can create feelings of frustration, anxiety, disappointment, and more rarely, accomplishment.
It seems in yoga class, we’ve taken the wordbalance to mean fixed, unmoving. A static spot that, if I nail, means I will have a great life, complete with happy relationships and fulfilling work.
I say we start a campaign to rename this category of poses. After a synonym search, I took some ideas to class. We tried on:
- Harmony Poses (“harmony” is actually part of one definition of balance: harmony in parts of the whole).
- Equilibrium Poses which, like homeostasis, is maintained by adjustments. It’s dynamic and responsive.
- And Composure Poses – when all else fails, fake it by making it look easy!
Two more tips for reframing your “balancing” experience:
- Rather than panic at the first wobble, move with it. Hop around if you have to. Notice how much give your body has before you actually have to step down. Know these as dynamic adjustments!
- Ask yourself, what’s the worst that can happen? You put the foot on the ground. And? You will still have a great life. :)
We sure love being in practice with you. Ooooh, and speaking of, the teacher trainees debut at tomorrow’s Community Class at It’s All Yoga (Friday, 4:30 pm). Come and give them some IAY lovin’.