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Questions regarding balancing

Dhanurasana252010-07-04 18:14:44 +0000 #1
Hi Everyone,

I have started practicing yoga about two months ago. I feel like I am getting used to the different poses, however I can't seem to get the hang of balancing poses. ie tree pose, eagle pose, warrior III

I have plantar fasciitis, however do not wear my orthotics as much as before.

Thanks In Advance
Pandara2010-07-04 18:18:21 +0000 #2
Hi,

I would like to know what contributed to your plantar fasciitis, is it weight, your job, standing long hours, wrong shoes? Would you drive a car with a flat tyre? I don't think so, first you would repair that flat tyre and drive further, the same with our bodies, first repair what is wrong (in this case your foot and the underlying issues) and then attempt the balances again.

About balancing: Balances are much harder than they seem, because you don't just talk about physical balance here, if you are unbalanced / out of harmony emotionally, mentally or spiritually it will translate in your physical practice as well. So a balance has many levels on which we have to work.

By the way, Eagle pose is quite advanced for somebody who do yoga only for 2 months. Do you have a teacher or are you doing this on your own?
InnerAthlete2010-07-04 18:54:26 +0000 #3
Welcome to the community here Dhan. I see this is your first post so I want to do three things with my reply: respond to your exact question, make a comment about one of the poses you mention, and do both of those in a way that brings integrity and clarity to the topic.

In short, two months of practice, assuming you are not doing asana 8 hours a day for 60 days (and even then), would not equal balance, physiologically speaking. One's progress in yoga (and I use the term progress loosely) takes time, effort, and patience. Let's just call it delayed gratification.

When I teach balancing (by the very phrase the skill of balance is taught and therefore also learned and learning has its own rhythm) I teach three basic elements. The first is the physiological element. This is the alignment and the action in the physical body in this pose or that pose. The second is breath. The breath has to move in a way that supports the student. Most beginners cannot breathe at all let alone breathe in a way that empowers their practice. And the third is focus. Some students are very focused the first day. Others are not focused in the third year. But these three things come together, they unite, or "yoke" if you will to bring balance.

You mention Virabhadrasana III. Presuming you are accurate I find this pose to be inappropriate for a student with only two months of practice. Yes you "may" do it. Yes you may be "able" to do it. Yes it may be pleasing or entertaining or engaging...but it is not a pose for beginners who have not mastered certain actions in standing poses. Even if I were completely off base - which does happen - I would question such a pose for those students suffering from plantar fasciitis.
Dhanurasana252010-07-04 18:24:09 +0000 #4
Thank you for your replies I appreciate all the tips I can get. =)

I developed PF after the birth of my second child (he is now 17 months). I wear orthotics, however my yoga instructor advised that orthotics may make my feet dependant on them and also can make my feet and ankles weak.

I have been practicing mostly 90 min. classes of flow style yoga at least 2-3 times per week and 60 minute private sessions with my coworker who has been practicing yoga for 15 years and also instructs.

I do notice that sometimes I can hold one leg balance poses longer than other, and sometimes I do forget to breath or forget to keep a soft face.

Maybe I will try and have my instructor work with me during these specific poses so that I can make sure that I have correct posture.

Are there any poses that you do reccomend for strengthening the fasciitis, ankles, and or feet?

Thank you again for your help.

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