B A L A N C E ~ “Balance is not something you find; it’s something you create.” ~ Jana Kingsford

When I cue tree pose (vrksasana) to a group of children on yoga mats, there’s a playfulness around our practice. There’s curiosity and healthy competition – “Look how long I can stand on one foot!” They fall in and out of the pose, and laugh about it every time.

The scenario is different when I’m leading adults. Falling could cause an injury – to our body and/or our ego. Maybe we don’t feel steady on our feet and there’s an element of fear involved.

As a yoga teacher, I often hear students proclaim, “I have terrible balance.”

I challenge that every time because I believe there is no “good balance” and there is no “bad balance.” There is “practiced balance” and “unpracticed balance.”

Several things contribute to our capacity for balance, and one of those things is strength and stability in the core. When the midsection of our body is strong and stable, we hold ourselves up with greater ease. We are also quicker to steady ourselves if we stumble.

Cultivating a regular yoga practice helps to strengthen the core. It also helps strengthen and stabilize the feet, ankles, knees and hips, providing a solid foundation for the entire body.

Let’s not forget that yoga also fosters focus and deep breathing – two important aspects of practicing tree pose.

Come to your yoga mat with a sense of playfulness and curiosity. Pick yourself up, lift the corners of your mouth, and then stand on one foot. If you fall, laugh about it and try again.

We don’t find balance, we create it.

Practice creating that for yourself.

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