Balance in the playground

By Tamblyn Lord

Remember as a kid attempting handstands or cartwheels in the playground … for fun?

We held no fear, just enjoyment and excitement at the thrill of perhaps balancing for a moment with our feet above our head. Of course, we fell often but we somehow managed to find a way to land safely.

How is it that as adults we have lost that excitement and have become fearful of balancing on our hands? We hold ourselves back thinking the pain of doing it wrong will affect our physical health, and our ego will take a beating. We think our an inability to balance is a reflection of our lack of certainty or a steady character. 

What if we were more aware in our approach to balancing on our hands? What if we enjoyed the challenge of a mindful preparation and the shift of perspective that potentially ‘flying’ on our hands can bring? What if we focused on our breath as well? Why look for the result when the practice can be enough in itself? 

With a steady approach to arm and hand balances, our perceived fears can be shed and our brighter potential may be realised. We can feel more energised, more focused and perhaps even find more of a sense of ‘joie de vivre’. Arm balances can be inspiring, invigorating and insightful – whatever level of ability we may have at the time.

If we’re both mindful and willing to play…

Sometimes when we’re at the beach nowadays, we may venture back to exploring what it is to balance on our hands again. We might cartwheel and try handstands, with the promise of the soft sand to catch us.

In our yoga practice, if we strengthen our upper body and improve our balance on our hands, our confidence can soar. Our fear diminishes and our focus sharpens, as we connect to the powerful life-force within us. As we learn to breathe while holding this space, there is a shift in our conscious awareness. We don’t focus on being able to ‘fly’ anymore, but rather, we enjoy the opportunity to explore the moment. There’s a letting go of who we think we may be and a hearty embrace of who we simply are. Just like when we were kids, having fun cartwheeling and doing handstands in the playground and feeling like we almost flew for a brief moment: a milli-second of lightness and free abandon.


Almost can mean so much more.

Feeling inspired?

Join Tamblyn for Fly Without Fear, a 4-week arm balance series starting May 8. More info and bookings here.

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