Recently, I’ve been turned on to yoga as a practice rather than only a means of getting a good stretch. I’ve begun playing around in the space, getting a taste of each of the various flavors. In doing so, one thing has become evident. A clear understanding the basics is essential.
So tonight, I rolled out my mat and learned a bit more of the basic yogi practice. This session was focused on the balance poses. The instructor’s ability to draw parallels to every day life enthralls me. When your mind is tossing around too many thoughts at once, she notes that doing a few balance poses will help draw you back into focus.
Done right, you must: Ground, Relax, Ignite, Breath, and Enjoy. Some of us, she says, are good at grounding but cannot relax. Others, easily relax but cannot ignite. As I think on this notion, I find that I fall into various patterns depending on the situation or mood.
As we put these words into action, I find my back up against the wall, my breath being held, and my feet firmly grounded. I am solid. But I cannot let myself ignite. “Ignite” my partner urges but I cannot do it. I somehow muddle through the exercise and breath a sigh of relief when it’s over.
A few minutes later, we are out on our mats trying the same move on our own. Ground. Relax. IGNITE. Breath. And…Wa-lah! I had everything lined up just so and there I was balancing on one leg, with my right arm stretched up towards the heavens and my left hand firmly rooted on the floor. My heart was open and, YES, I was enjoying myself.
Finding that balance was much like in the final mile running the Portland Marathon where only my inner voice would suffice in igniting, or fueling me the remaining way to the finish line. Tonight, it was also my “hello” that was the answer to igniting my powerhouse.
Look at that. I guess it is just like life. Some times the encouraging words of others is what motivates. Other times, the best thing your friends can do is be quiet just long enough for you to hear your own words of encouragement. And in doing so, you find your balance.