Perfection in Modification…
Maui continues its morning magic with 18 students appearing to find their own level of yoga perfection. I guide students into a posture or pose with a basic show of that pose : how the arms or legs or spine are placed and aligned. However, it is important to offer modified positions for students who aren’t capable of reaching the pose fully. The aim is not to be in a perfect pose. It is to find the perfection that is in you as you move into the pose still receiving its benefits without strain or discomfort.
For example, in the balance or tree pose, we usually see the person with the inner sole of one foot pressed against the inner thigh of the standing leg. When I instruct the balance pose, I modify it with options for those not able to bend their knee, or who have difficulty with balance. My classes are outside on a lawn without any props or walls to lean on, therefore it helps to modify the pose in ways that allow students to begin finding their body’s balancing point.
With a visual focus on a fixed point in front of you, or on the ground, I ask the students to laser into that spot as if it is the only thing in the world. Bring their attention and energy to that spot and stay focused on it throughout the pose. Then walk forward on one leg, feeling it become a solid pillar supporting them. The other leg is free to enhance the balance of the standing leg which can be done in a variety of positions: (1) keep the big toe of the free leg lightly touching the ground. This is excellent for those with extremely poor balance. It is a security blanket and as they gain confidence in their balance they lift the toe a little each time. (2) wrap the free leg around the ankle of the standing leg. (3) move the free leg up the standing leg to find your balance place WITHIN YOU. The standing leg has a relaxed knee in all these positions to also ease any strain on the low back.
Some arm positions: (1)arms next to body;(2) arms stretched out shoulder height (3) arms straight up, palms together fingers pointed to the sky; (4) one arm arched overhead the other curved below the abdomen, creating a circle, then rotate the direction of the circle moving the other arm overhead and the other below.
When the body wants to go in other directions, lean into the inside of the standing foot and LASER BEAM into your FOCUS SPOT, bring the arms down closer to your sides instead of flailing them . The body begins to calm down the longer you focus on the spot. Like in life, we have many distractions throwing us off balance. When we stay focused, the balance returns.
Please go to the side bar and Click on the VIDEO CLIP from my DVD instructing the BALANCE AND FOCUS pose....Have a great Yoga day…..