I am taking an adult ballet class and not surprisingly there are lots of balances on tip toes. Not having taken a ballet class in many years, I had forgotten how often one is in relevé. Whether doing soussus across the floor, pas de bourrées or just holding a relevé for a long time, it can be difficult to maintain balance.
There are a few helpful approaches for keeping yourself balanced in a pose. The easiest is to not lose your balance to begin with. To find your strong balance at the start, begin with a positive belief, take it easy rather than forcing it, find a mid-distance anchor point to put your soft focus on and envision yourself being pulled up into balance. If you falter, it takes a tremendous amount of strength to try to get back to the center place. Often it is not possible to regain balance while you are in the midst of losing your hold. Instead, better to start over again by re-grounding yourself before you go back into your balance stand.
I find that starting over again when you lose your balance is a great technique in general when life throws you off. Yesterday I was feeling off-balance and I tried to push myself into a centered place without any success. I kept on trying to force my emotions back into balance when what I needed to do was to start over. And by start over I am talking about shifting expectations and re-engaging as if you have a blank slate. Go back to the ground before you attempt your balance again. Basically, reboot and re-balance.
One way to reboot is by stopping whatever you are doing and trying something completely different—best if that something different comes easy to you and feels good. Moving the body helps. I took a swim in a cooling pool on a hot day for a burst of feel-good re-centering. Another way to re-balance is by reading a passage that gives you a different perspective on your situation—perhaps a favorite book that makes you laugh or gives you hope. Writing or journaling also works for me. Pushing yourself back into balance rarely helps. Easing back into a good place is so much more compassionate.
And giving yourself some compassion, if you aren’t familiar with it already, is an amazing elixir worth trying when you are out of balance. In fact, compassion is an amazing balm that not only you can give yourself but is equally balancing when you give to others. When you offer compassion to others who are out of sorts, not only are you encouraging their re-balancing, but you will likely feel more in balance too. Compassion is a heart-opening process that gently serves to re-center. Think about that language a bit. The heart is in the center of the body. Bringing energy and focus to it means that you are quite literally going to your midpoint of physicality. And with that heart-centered focus, there is a natural softness and ease that allows you to regain calm and balance. Not unlike the soft focus I use to hit a relevé balance pose in ballet, having a soft focus and compassionate approach towards life helps to smooth out imbalances that are a natural part of life.