Yoga for Bal­ance

Montreal Times - - News - By Mal­colm McLean mtl­times.ca

Last win­ter, when you picked your way down an icy NDG side­walk, did you do so with pur­pose­ful, pru­dent steadi­ness; or with mind in tur­moil and fear­ful foot­ing. Did you have bal­ance?

That grace­ful Tango pro­gres­sion you pulled off af­ter an evening of strug­gling and feel­ing like road­kill? When your bal­ance kicked in and it all flowed? Or the amaz­ing ten­nis shot from last year, that you’ll never for­get, when you leapt up and slammed it home to a stunned and off-bal­ance op­po­nent.

The phys­i­cal bal­ance that makes these pos­si­ble, comes from strength and flex­i­bil­ity, kines­thetic aware­ness… but it is also de­pen­dent on emo­tional bal­ance, as state of mind sets up body.

Bal­ance could be the emo­tional state that main­tains some shreds of equa­nim­ity when there’s a de­tour just added to the first de­tour and the traf­fic is like a huge metal con­sti­pa­tion, day­care is clos­ing in 15 min­utes and you were late yes­ter­day and they’re mad at you and the gas empty light is on but not yet flash­ing, maybe the gas will make it to the day­care.

Emo­tional bal­ance can help us more skil­fully meet the many chal­lenges we face in man­ag­ing our own lives, or man­ag­ing oth­ers.

Through bal­ance, life has evolved from four-legged to up­right. This up­right pos­ture is a cru­cial at­tribute of the hu­man be­ing, and a fac­tor in hu­man do­min­ion over the earth.

We are told that our work as a species of adapt­ing phys­i­cally to stand­ing on two legs is still not com­plete.Those sore backs! Also in­com­plete is our eth­i­cal, so­cial, on­to­log­i­cal evo­lu­tion: be­com­ing fully up­right and bal­anced enough to steer our earthly do­min­ion away from dis­as­ter.

So even if evo­lu­tion were not proven, we would surely have to in­vent it. And what­ever force in the uni­verse may or may not de­ter­mine our fate, we can choose to work on our evo­lu­tion: as in­di­vid­u­als, and as a species.

Your lo­cal yoga stu­dio can help with bal­ance. A chair class can help peo­ple for whom bal­ance and mo­bil­ity are daily chal­lenges, as it warms up and works through the whole body in a chair, even­tu­ally to stand­ing for a short ex­plo­ration of bal­ance. In­ter­me­di­ate classes oc­ca­sion­ally ex­plore in­ver­sions: bal­anc­ing up­side­down on hands, fore­arms, heads… In part­ner or cou­ples classes, as well as kids classes, peo­ple learn to en­trust their bal­ance to oth­ers, and prove wor­thy of that trust them­selves. Med­i­ta­tion classes ad­dress in­ner bal­ance, and clar­ity. Check our sched­ule at:

www.yo­gaon­thep­ark.ca

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