Happy Healthy and Fit

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Yoga, Balance & Why You Need to Learn to Stand on One Leg

Sometimes, when I ask people if they have ever practiced yoga, I get a slightly cynical response like, "I don't need to stand on one leg."

This morning when I was teaching Power Flow Yoga, I was very much in the spirit of balance.  After all, what is balance?

After spending five days in New England enjoying family, friends, fine dining, freshly-baked treats, wine, sugar, Dunkin' DonutsDunkin' Donuts Ground Coffee - 40oz - Ground & Instant Coffee (Google Affiliate Ad), salt bagels and Friendly's Reese's peanut butter sauce, my heart feels very full of love and experiences.  My body feels grossly off balance.  As a daily yoga practitioner, I realize that from the moment I departed Tampa and up until this morning, I didn't do one downward facing dog and the closest I got to touching my toes was pulling on and off my designer boots.

A shift in environment can quickly lead to a shift in lifestyle.  Aside from love and compassion, my yogic lifestyle went out the window.  As the holidays approach, it is easy to find yourself in a similar position of parties and pleasure, sacrificing health and ultimately happiness.

This morning I was reflecting on what exactly it means to say: 'yoga brings balance.'  A regular yoga practice does bring balance to things like work/home life.  Yoga also balances out the right and left sides of the body, as well as, the right and left hemispheres of the brain.

Standing on one leg balances out your soul.  Standing on one leg draws your energy and attention inward, it requires focus, commitment and courage to risk falling.  It also requires humility to fall with grace, to rise, try again and honor the place that you are in.  It requires tenacity to turn defeat into victory and discipline to keep stretching your limitations.

The physical benefits of properly standing on one leg are numerous: strengthening your standing knee, engaging your core and aligning your spine to name a few.  The emotional benefits are tremendous.  Having taught yoga in several states and countries the smile of victory is universal after a new yogi successfully stands on one leg.  Spiritually, the pose is just a means to self-empowerment.

Chances are if you have never tried standing on one leg, you have never tried a lot of things.  Yoga stretches so much more than your body.  It stretches your mind, your heart, your consciousness, your beliefs, your compassion and your world.  May this be your Happiest Healthiest and Fittest holiday season yet!
Much love and Namaste~





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