Balance · Standing and Handstanding · Mollie McClelland Morris

Balance · Standing and Handstanding

A yoga practice can be a study of balance, which is a study of life. We think of being "balanced" as  a static state. But in the body, balance is never static.  As we stand on one foot or our hands, it is not that we are still. Stillness itself implies rigidity, and an inability to shift. All structures need that resilience, that ability to move with the changes in the wind (so to speak).

Imagine you are on a train. If you were standing had nothing to hold onto, you would create that resilience by widening your legs and bending your knees, like a surfer or snowboarder. You would need the body to be able to take the jolts and jerks, and still have it's centre. Balance is always like that.  We need the centre and we need the inner gauge to bring us back onto it. We are always navigating the tiny shifts and changes in the body, the weight changes and the breath.

This video  is not a perfect handstand. It is a good handstand, because this time, I had both the mental stamina/ concentration and the physical awareness to just stay there, despite being imperfect, crooked and a little bit piked (bent forwards). But perfection doesn't matter. Because the act of coming into the balance is a. what is interesting, and b. where we see our inner guidance and gauge in action. Sometimes we have to just get through the slightly off balance moments to let the body find its own way.

This is the same in life. Balance in life is a constant process of sustaining and renegotiating. A little too much here, a little to little somewhere else. Too much to the left, too much to the right. Sometimes we find ourselves in awkward situations, where we have to just maintain, or maybe we find ourselves somewhere less than perfect, but just have to hold on until the dust settles. My handstand practice is full of imperfections; working to find the steadiness through the imperfections is the game. Building the concentration so that is possible, this is the practice.