Have you ever tried to do yoga’s tree pose? People tell me that as I get older, my balance decreases. I resent people telling me what I can and can’t do based on my chronological age. Throughout my life, activity in the form of swimming, running, yoga, dance, walking, Pilates, and don’t forget sex, have kept me vibrant. So, what causes us to lose balance? Is it a decrease in flexibility mentally, spiritually and emotionally that shows up physically?
Stand erect and pull one leg up so that the arch of one foot embraces the knee of the other leg. Where are your arms and hands? Most likely, they are out to the side and your hands are open. Yes? It’s the open hands that intrigue me. It allows energy to flow out and energy to be received. When we are in fear, rigid, sad, depressed, our muscles tighten, the arms come in, the hands become fists and flow is restricted sometimes completely cut off.
We all have these emotions. The trick is to MOVE THROUGH them and not reside in them. As I practice the physical balance with the tree pose, I’m mindful of the balance of spirit and focus on flow. By opening my hands and breathing deeply I can move from sadness to joy, from anger to love, from fear to courage. This contrast of emotions is an opportunity to notice where I may be rigid in my thinking and let go. My judgment regarding the darker emotions blocks the flow. If I open my hands and breathe deeply, balance returns.
In 2010, I committed to, what I call, the ‘Grace of Yes’, opening to flow. Eight years later, I find myself more flexible, more open, less judgmental and able to stand, arms outstretched, palms open and balanced in tree pose. Today, the full moon of compassion and acceptance amplifies that commitment.