Today’s $64000 question is: How can you find balance in your life?
Is anyone like me – struggling to find the perfect balance in our boomer lives? How do you find the balance between work and play; between being productive and indulging yourself; between spending alone time and time with friends and family; between giving and receiving. What to spend our time, our efforts and our money on? How to find that place that puts us in the place of balance (sattva guna)?
Answer from a passionate boomer yogi: Come to the yoga mat!
A regular Yoga and meditation practice automatically brings balance to the body, mind and spirit. Honestly, you don’t have to do anything else. Just come to your mat and practice. The more you practice, the more balanced you become. This phenomenon can be explained scientifically, but not here and not by me. I only know (for sure) that it works! It brings a sense of balance from the inside out as the breath slows and lengthens and the mind becomes focused.
So today we are going to practice a balancing pose called VRIKSASANA or Tree Pose. Start by doing this pose against a wall or holding onto a chair. Once you master that try practicing it in the middle of the room. You will soon find yourself practicing it while you are chopping vegetables or brushing your teeth!
1) Stand against a wall in Tadasana or Mountain Pose (stand steadily with ten toes pointed forward, knees over ankles, hips over knees, shoulders over hips and ears over shoulders – see a previous post for a complete review.)
2) Place hands on hips and press down into the 4 corners of your left foot.
3) Lift and bend the right knee and place the sole of your right foot against the inside calf of the left leg.
4) Bring hands to prayer at the heart.
5) Gaze easily and steadily (drishti) on a point in front of you.
6) Hold for 5-8 breaths and repeat on the other side.
7) Come out of the pose by bringing the knee back to center and placing the foot down.
To modify: keep ball of the foot on the mat, with heel on the opposite ankle.
To challenge: bring the sole of one foot to inner thigh of the opposite leg. Stretch the arms up overhead.
Do this pose often to improve your balance (ie. no falling during the icy NYC winter months!) and to improve your focus and concentration.
Enjoy! And see you next time!