In This Chapter
Understanding the psychology of balance
Practicing balancing exercises
Balance (called samata [sah-mah-tah] or samatva [sah-mah-tvah] in Sanskrit) is fundamental to yoga. A balanced approach to life includes being even-tempered and seeing the great unity behind all diversity. Balance translates to being nonjudgmental and treating others with equal fairness, kindness, and compassion.
One way to begin to gain this balance is to practice balancing postures. Remember, according to yoga, body and mind form a working unit. Imbalances in the body are reflected in the mind, and vice versa. This chapter emphasizes the importance of balance in yoga and offers six postures that provide you with a samata sampling.
When you look at a tree, you see only what’s above ground — the vertical trunk, with its crown of branches and foliage, and maybe a few chirping birds. Trees appear to just perch atop the soil, and you wonder how in the world such a top-heavy thing can stay upright. Well, everyone knows that the secret of the tree’s equilibrium is its underground network of roots that anchor the visible part of the plant solidly into the earth. In the balancing postures, you, too, can discover how ...