Teeter-totter on One Leg

jane dagny

Flamingo On One LegI am able to pretty much twist myself into a pretzel. I know you probably don’t believe me, but I’m quite flexible. I can kiss my knees if I want to! But the thing I have trouble with is balancing. I feel like I am not doing yoga fully because I cannot achieve the one-leg balancing part, which probably means I have a lack of awareness of my body. Taking one breath is fine, but when I have to hold a tree pose through five Ujjayi breaths – forget it. I feel like a human seesaw.

The sequence of poses that lead up to the tree pose is what I think is the cause. After a series of lunges and standing poses, the arches of my feet feel a bit tense. There is a stiffness that I have to shake out. Then, I prepare myself for Vrksana by bending my right knee and tucking my right heel into my inner left thigh – so far, so good. I focus a few feet in front of me and think about staying in this pose longer. The moment I do that, I start to tilt here and there. Out of the corner of my eyes, I see everyone else NOT having trouble, and think how distracting my teetering must be on their concentration. When it’s time to switch to the other leg, the results are not much better.Silly me. At home, I am able to do this just fine by skipping all the other standing poses. Yes, it’s like I’m cheating. So, I’ve got to get used to a balancing sequence and train my body to transition into a one-legged stand. I came across a video on in which a comparison is made between surfing and yoga. The instructor on the video explains balancing similarly on level ground and on a surf board. From his tips, I’ve self-diagnosed that my mistake is locking my knee on the standing leg, which makes total sense now.

I’ll practice the tree pose now with more fluidity, and then I’ll try it on water (just kidding).

[tags]standing on one leg, balance, transitions, vrksana, teeter-totter[/tags]

2 Responses to “Teeter-totter on One Leg”

  1. Tree pose is one of my favorite poses. I have been looking for a class that integrates this pose but I haven’t found one for months. Which type of yoga are you doing?

  2. Jane says:

    It’s ashtanga yoga, but only some poses from the primary series. If you are interested in standing poses, there are quite a few you could learn from this type of yoga.

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