Finding Balance

One of the biggest things I struggle with in my yoga asana practice is balancing poses. Whether it’s arm balances or leg balances or even balancing a block on my head, I just can’t seem to balance! I blame it partly on my disproportionately tiny feet and small hands – I’m pretty sure they were physically not built to hold up the rest of my body! But I think with more practice I can conquer the grief my tiny hands and feet cause me and find my balance.

This is not a post about me finding balance after a four-week yoga course, but rather about how this course equipped me with the structure and knowledge to figure out how to practice and improve my balance. I’ve learnt that your drishti, your gaze, is incredibly important to maintaining balance in poses. In bakasana (crow pose), your drishti should be on the ground, a few inches ahead of your head. In leg balancing poses, like vrikshasana and utthita padangustasana, your dhristi needs to be straight ahead at a stable point, or at your toes if you can maintain stability in that pose. As I got more exposure to balancing poses in this course, I learnt to track my drishti and gained awareness of when I was focusing on one point (like I’m supposed to) or if my gaze was all over the place. I learnt that when you don’t have a steady, focused gaze, that’s actually when you lose your balance.

But balance is not only required in yoga asanas. You need balance in your everyday life: specifically, something I deal with every day is finding work-life balance. I think in order to find work-life balance, one needs to find a few things in their life that they want to commit themselves to. Whether it’s running, yoga, friends, and physics, you need a few small activities and goals to focus on. Ideally, your passions would draw you towards a balanced lifestyle, but I am still trying to figure that out. I hope that continuing to practice my balancing poses in yoga will give me some insight into how to achieve work-life balance in my future.

—S