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A glorious practice outdoors in the early afternoon sun, a slight cool breeze danced with potted palm trees, the avocado and neem trees towered above, and a bird rustled around in the bushes.

Sometimes, you head into a yoga practice with intent, knowing what you need from it and having some idea of where its going. Other times you step on to the mat and move directly in to the unknown, letting it lead you wherever you need to go.   Today was like that ~ a yoga unfolding with the precision of an inner universe.

A gentle flowing practice led me in, out, around and through a series of balance poses.  In the stillness of vrksasana (tree pose) came this insight:  It is when our outer life is out of balance that we most need to balance our internal selves.

Balance is not a static thing.  Life moves, stretches, expands in all directions.  We dance with joy, and know the passions of ecstatic experience, and we grieve our losses and know the pain of deep agony.   Nature swings itself through her extremes as well, with earthquakes and floods and fires, yet always natural systems move back toward balance.

Balance is a fluid, flowing core to which we always return when we need to feel the stillness, peace, a sense of equilibrium.  To be balanced is to be grounded in our homeostatic center.

When we play with balance poses we learn what it feels like to be stillness in movement, movement in stillness. Working with balance, we learn that it is ok to fall, to be shaky, to lose focus.  Balance poses teach us to regain that focus, to come back to core, to find a solid place from which to safely experience everything.

I don’t know.  It’s only a theory.  Practice, see where your yoga takes you.  What’s your favorite balance pose? Least favorite? Do they bring you any insights?

“Yoga doesn’t ask us to believe, it asks us to practice, examining our experience until we can witness the truth in the book of our own heart.”   – borrowed from Dave Stringer