Balance. It’s something students want. I hear so many students tell me, “I have no balance.” It’s the aspect of the practice that seems to frustrate students the most. I watch them adjust, struggle, make faces, and shake their heads. What does it mean to have balance in yoga, and how do we create it?

If you’ve ever taken a class with me, you know I invite you to fully participate! Often, I will have discussions about the practice. During a recent yoga class I asked, “What is balance? How would you define it?” Here were some of the answers:

-          Feeling solid

-          Even

-          Strong

-          Ease

This is how a fellow yoga teacher defined it, “Being in the here and now.” When I took those words to heart I noticed how it changed my balance. I found myself fighting with the pose less, and noticed my balance improved. I realized being present, in the here and now, helps one create that elusive balance.

This past year I have been putting a lot of energy into growing my yoga practice and classes. With all of this, it’s been a challenge maintaining balance in my life. I’ve realized I need to apply the same attention to my life: be in the present moment, adjust when necessary, and breathe.  

During a recent photo shoot, I had a wonderful opportunity to work with balance. In Warrior II I am normally strong and balanced when I practice indoors. Inside I have my awesome Jade yoga mat, the lights are consistent, I don’t have to worry about the wind, and I don’t the distraction of different sounds and people. However, to create balance on two rocks of different heights, both which were uneven, not to mention very slippery… that added a whole new dimension to my understanding of balance. As I was trying not to fall, I noticed a sense of fear, and for a moment I thought, "We're not going to be able to get the shot." But, then I do what I tell my students to do: breathe! Breath by breath I settled into the moment and pose. The photographer captured the moment when I surrendered to the moment. The peace and strength I found in the pose, well, those are the gifts of balance.