I totally misinterpreted it. The subject line said Balance Awareness Week and I thought wow, a week dedicated to being balanced. Very cool. I thought about how my week last week was out of balance with too much running around and not enough sitting still. I thought about how I had looked ahead for this week to make sure to not fall into the dizzying pace of last week.
Then I searched Balance Awareness Week and realized it was about BALANCE, as in vestibular standing up straight balance, not balance of life. They are different, yet connected.
A friend who discovered yoga a few years ago was sharing about attending regular yoga classes and was so excited about the physical and mental changes he was experiencing. “I love the balancing poses,” he said. “You know Alice, They are really about balance, they are about BALANCE!”
I knew exactly what he meant. Balance of body and life and activities really all inform each other. If we have vertigo it can feel like the whole world is tipping off kilter and we can’t take even one step with certainty and confidence. When life and activities and rest are not in balance it feels the same. What to do next? How can we keep all the balls from falling to the floor.
Sometimes we just have to surrender to being out of balance and letting all the balls fall. Often when that happens it’s because we get sick. Then there is no choice.
But what if balancing postures were a part of your daily practice. Tree pose come to mind this time of year. The leaves are falling, like the balls. They fall with radiant colors and softly carpet the ground. What if you let the balls fall and stood like that bare tree with no leaves. What if you could practice losing and regaining your balance, over and over again?
Tree pose is so simple…or so it seems. There are many variations of tree and it is a pose that I love coming back to over and over again. Breathing into the balance of each side. Being with the tipping feeling when it comes and letting the soles of your bare feet connect and ground you even as the wind blows your branches to release your leaves.
Can you let go and be the tree. Can you soften in where you need to and stand tall at the same time? Can you be balanced in every form?
To really dive into balance I have a challenge for you. 40 days of tree. Yes, every day you practice tree pose. Every day. Get a piece of paper and a journal and write two sentences about being a tree. Every day. 40 days. Are you in?