SEBRING -- “Balance” is key to stability. How do we awaken conscious aware of balance in moving to maintain stability? In this week’s YMCA Yoga class, practitioners awakened this habitual movement, often taken for granted, until there is a fall. Before this occurs, we can awaken the dormant energy in stability and hone it into the balance within the mind/body. “Balance” is more than just standing on two legs, as it involves conscious awareness of movement in the entire body. We hone balance. Ballerinas and weight lifters at the gym hone this awareness through distribution of body weight to stand, lift or spin on the toes as they grip and ground the energy of the spinning Earth. We cannot take this ability “for granted” as we need balance in all human movement.
In Yoga, balance is part of the inner working of consciousness as stabilizing balance takes concentration. Walking down the street is easy if all body parts are honed and working together and may not take much concentration to balance unless the mind has gone to sleep and the posture slumps forward throwing balance off. Thus, the ground becomes unseemingly unstable and requires thinking to find stability.
In practicing Yoga postures, discrimination and conscientious awareness assists the body/mind in honing human balance which is applicable in all tasks. Balance requires training of a correct posture and conscious monitoring that applies to many activities. Yoga requires concentration and focus as the body moves with focus on purpose. If you are reading a book to learn how a car works, the content needs to go beyond the outside paint or interior material as it does not inform us on how to shift gears or start the car.
In today’s world of technology, knowledge can be programmed into the simplicity of a pushbutton starter that does not require thinking. This is concerning, as we need to hone mental awareness through human thinking not turn human thinking over to technology. The human mind was programmed to “self-heal” for thousand of years and did it well. Has this disappeared?
The human body is complex, involving what is termed the ‘subtle body.” In moving into yoga postures, the subtle body is that internal awareness of a deeper knowledge expanding from habits in a deeper level of understanding that is involved in solving complex problems. The subtle body describes layers of vibrating energy working to process sensory input from the physical body. Yoga brings awareness of this deeper experience on and off the mat as energy is not always visible; however, the results can be felt in the flow/coordination/balance of how the body/mind works to avoid stagnation.
When the body becomes stagnate, energy is depleted as the breath is shallow. In terms of balance/stability, Yoga postures require inward focus to create an outward balance and stable posture.
Todays’ class, initiated a balance pose to increase flexibility and movement. Begin from Tadassana, standing straight with legs shoulder-width apart and a straight back. Bend the right leg at the knee and keep the knee over the foot as you come down the floor. The other leg is also bent but come down to the ground with that foot extended to the back with toes curled. Reach the left arm back to the left heal and raise the right arm to the sky. Hold the pose. The invisible subtle bodies assist in balance on the subconscious level, translated into conscious awareness, to hold the posture. Just because we cannot see something tangibly, it does not mean it is not there, so use it.
Maintain a meditative consciousness when you practice Yoga to achieve calmness and self-healing.