Balance is just shifting weight


Many years ago, my yoga teacher announced that instead of Headstand, we were going to do an Elbow Pose. Well, turns out Elbow Pose was a Headstand, but just with a different emphasis. And because we focused on a different aspect of the pose, I got different (better) results.


That’s why I sometimes like to refer to balancing as “shifting weight.” The word “balance” brings with it a bunch of preconceived notions like:


Balance is a destination that you arrive at and stay

Balance means standing on one foot

Some people are just not good at balancing

Balance automatically gets worse with age


None of these are true, by the way.


I say, if you can walk, you can balance. Because walking is the process of shifting weight from one foot to the other.


Balance in everyday life does not frequently include standing on one foot (think Tree Pose). A far more functional skill is to get more comfortable with shifting weight as necessary. And it’s something you already do all the time. Shifting weight is how you roll over in bed, go from sitting to standing, and step one foot forward to go from Down Dog to Lunge. It’s how you move fluidly through a Sun Salutation. It’s how you go around a corner on your bicycle. You’re already a pro at shifting weight.


Have fun and experiment with ways to shift your weight. Make it play and make it fun. Let’s rename asanas to “Rock the Boat” pose and “Leaning Tower of Pisa” Pose.


Like so many things in life, we mistakenly go looking for balance outside ourselves. Happiness & contentment aren't destinations. All three require a state of constant negotiation and already reside within.