I have trouble finding balance in some yoga poses, and in some areas of my life. A few weeks ago in Standing Bow, when I had trouble with my balance, Loren told me I’d have an easier time if I looked up. He told me I almost always look down. If I look down, then I’ll fall down!
Since that day I started to observe how I view the world. Do I look at it with eyes up? Or eyes down? When I walk are my eyes up or are they down? How do I look at the world? I also started to notice how others look at the world. They tend to look down. Look down at their phones or other electronic devices. I see this when people drive. I see it when they walk. I see it when I walk into my classroom.
But this isn’t about other people. It’s about me and how I view the world. I’ve started looking up when I do yoga. I’ve started looking up when I walk. I see. I observe. I notice the world around me. There’s life out there. There’s also life in me.
There’s life in this physical body. I’ve made it a point to look up when I struggle for balance in Standing Bow, and you know what? Parts of my body have come alive in ways I haven’t expected. When I look up I feel more muscles working as I fight to stay upright. Even in moments when I struggle I still feel more alive.
Then there’s balancing stick. My nemesis until……………until I started looking up. I saw when I looked up, I saw my leg (the one in the air) wobble from side to side. I became a witness to my tendency to meld into an unbalanced stated. As I continued to look up, instead of down, I realized the power, the strength in working to keep my leg, the one in the air, in alignment with the rest of my body. I started to feel mesmerized by my efforts to work with alignment. Normally when I’d do balancing stick, I’d look to the ground, somehow thinking that would help keep me balanced, but really, looking down inspired me to fall down.
Looking up in yoga, looking up in life doesn’t guarantee that I immediately find balance but it does give me a brighter outlook and a greater awareness of the unknown spaces waiting to be discovered.
Here’s a video of me doing Balancing stick with eyes down and eyes up:
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