Sally Jane Yoga

Enjoy the wobble

18th March 2019

Enjoy the wobble

I've recently been thinking about balance. Many students get concerned about the wobble when they are in standing poses, especially when they lift a leg from the floor into a one legged balance pose.

Well the good news is that the wobble is an important part of these poses.

The wobble means our muscles are working, we are waking them up and they are reacting. Don't worry if you wobble, this is your body reacting to the pose. 

We are all human so don't stress about the wobble. I have been experiencing some problems with standing poses lately due to the after affects of a broken toe, which left my calf muscle a little shorter than it needs to be (if you don't use it you lose it!). So balancing on my left leg is more of a challenge but I can see the improvements as I work on that muscle and I getting a better grounding in my standing poses. 

In a balance pose, think about the following:

  • The grounding through your weight bearing leg. Think about your foot's connection with the ground and concentrate on keeping the whole foot equally connected - it will broaden your connection with the ground. Also, avoid a solid locked leg - a softened or bent knee will usually work better.
  • Where to focus your gaze. It's good to look at something, just make sure it's not another student or you will start to mirror if they wobble - it's why I stuggle to balance when I am teaching as I am usually trying to watch everyone and also watch the time as I know you all like to know how long you have held your balance pose. 
  • Scan your body - be aware of where you may be slipping out of the pose or maybe where your body is able to go deeper into the pose. Think about where to engage muscles - such as Mula Bandha (pelvic floor). Maybe your arms need to be in a different position to help with balance, maybe your shoulders have started to hunch up, if so feel them gently relax down as you breath out.
  • Lastly, don't forget to breathe. Try to slow the breath down. 

For inspiration, I look to nature. When it's windy, the old/large trees are solid and if the winds are strong they will break. However, those smaller trees and plants that bend in the wind are more likely to survive a strong wind. 

I don't like a locked straight standing leg, instead add some softness and don't be afraid to reach your arms out for help with balance. It's all about the flow and listening to what adjustments your body needs to get the best benefit from these poses.  

One of my favourite class sequences is a balance where we use balls (to use under our feet to warm up our "balance" muscles) and blocks (on top of heads to help with posture). It's such fun.

Author: Sally Pearce (sallyjaneyoga)

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