In yoga, some poses are balance poses. Many of them are deceptively simple–and deceptively difficult. One of the most common is tree pose, which involves putting all one’s weight into one foot, and then lifting the other, and touching the base of the lifted foot to the side of the leg that remains on the ground. (There are variations on this–typically my lifted leg doesn’t go nearly as high as in the picture I linked to, but rests below my knee.)
The funny thing about balance poses is, some days we’re all simply more balanced than others. But today in yoga class, the whole front row was pretty wobbly, including me. “It’s a windy day,” someone suggested, to explain all our swaying trees, and soon we were all laughing at the thought of this, especially when it was pointed out it was clearly a very localized wind, affecting only the front row.
For just a few moments I was more focused on laughing than on keeping my balance, and while I kept wobbling, my lifted foot stopped touching the ground every for seconds.
And I realized, and said aloud, “It’s easier to keep one’s balance when I’m laughing.”
It’s true, and it’s something it’s too easy to forget.
Sometimes the laughter comes after one loses one’s balance, of course. A few weeks ago I tumbled out of a more complicated balance pose and landed flat on the ground. I found myself laughing as I fell, maybe because we’d just been talking in class about how falling was part of balance poses.
And that time I found myself thinking, though I don’t know if I said it aloud: “If I do have to fall sometimes–and of course I do–at least I can fall down laughing.”