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  • Michelle Cormack Southern Star Studios

Symmetry does not always equal balance

Symmetry does not always equal balance

Symmetry and balance do not go hand in hand.

Yes, were designed symmetrical ish but each side works differently. Each day bring a new balance to your body.

Quick example are standing in Tree Pose, you put your weight and balance on one foot at a time. Maybe, you'll be able to maintain tree on the left without swaying toward the floor. And then move toward the right side and barely be able to get your right foot grounded enough to even lift the left off the floor. The day, week or month before that was not an issue or you might always need extra help with the right side.

Think of how you use each side on a day to day basis. Driving your right leg works more than the left. Carrying a purse or wallet on one side day in and day out changes your balance. This is not anything to worry over, just something to think about as you practice yoga and/ or any other exercise routine.

Each day makes a difference, did you get enough sleep, is your mind somewhere other than in class, is your breathe deep and are you able to "let go"? So many things can effect balance, left, right and the body as a whole.

How does this deal with left and right side balance. "The Left side of your brain is responsible for controlling the right side of the body. It also performs task that have to do with logic, such as in the science and mathematics The right side of the brain coordinates the left side of the body and performs task that have to do with creativity and the arts" "The Science of Yoga draws on more than a century of painstaking research to present the first impartial evaluation of a practice thousands of years old. It celebrates what's real and shows what's illusory, describes what's uplifting and beneficial and what's flaky and dangerous—and why." by William J. Broad

Yoga mean to yoke, join unite. Yoga unites both the right and left side together, angles from poses and movement of your body are logic. Then creating a sequence of poses brings in the left side brain. Look at yoga poses and maybe notice all the angles in the poses.

First and foremost try not stress. There are many ways to bring balance back into your body. Use a wall , chair or yoga props to help once you find the pose you wish to practice.

Then place a hand on the wall or whatever prop that might help. Once you feel comfortable try moving your hand away from the wall. One finger at a time if needed.

Give yourself a break. There are no gold stars in Yoga, or in any fitness class. There is, however, injury to be aware of. Work with your body and not against it. "Tomorrow" you may be able to take the pose further than you ever have before. Alignment is very important. Very simplified Ears over shoulders, neutral spine not overly curved (and compression on your vertebra is not good. Second or third toe lines up with your ankle to knee to hip in all positions. There is so much more to alignment. I use an app sometimes to help with research Muscles in Motion

If you have not look at the Yoga International sign do. They have great artitcals....

"We Are All Asymmetrical on the Inside"

"As a result of this emphasis on tadasana ( mountain pose)-like symmetry, many yoga students view any asymmetries in their bodies as inherently problematic."

These are both quotes from The Myth of Symmetry in Yoga

The bigger issue is breathing, feeling your breath. With each inhale and exhale your body moves. Don't fight it move with your breath. Your ankle joint ... architecture of the ankle consists of three bones: the tibia, the fibula, and the talus. The foot and ankle contain: 26 bones, having all 4 corners of each foot grounded is a key to balance. The 4 corners are the knuckle under the big toes, knuckle under the pinkie toe and each side (where the bone are located ) of the heal.This id great information and will help your practice. With each breath these foundation joints move. Back to tree pose, as you stand one foot "rooted" to the floor/mat/earth the other foot is somewhere from toe on the floor to heal at the base of your thigh. Now think about how much is being held up with your ankle and foot these 26 bones are working and moving with your breathe. Being aware of your body and breathe is going to help, adding that each side moves differently should give you an idea of what all is going on with just a simple tree pose.

More on breathe in another blog.


Michelle Cormack

Southern Star Yoga Therapist


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