Whether it’s in my flow, in my warm up, or both, I like to ensure in the beginning of my practice I add a few balance postures, not because I like them, but because they’re a great litmus test for how I’m feeling on any given day. Some days I can remain calm, finding my center, no problemo. Other days I’m a shaky mess and can hardly hold a thing. Sometimes it is from lack of food (I’ve never liked eating near time for any exercise). Sometimes it shines a light on some anxieties I’m holding in. The reaction is the most important part. How do I react to not being able to hold myself steady? Sometimes my reaction is frustration, anger, giving up. Other times it is the polar opposite, laughter and a will to keep going despite the fact that I know I’ll keep wobbling the entire way through.

The reaction to non-perfection is a lens to my state of mind on any given day. When I meet challenge with frustration, there’s something deeper happening. There’s some other frustration in my life, something bothering me whether on a conscious or subconscious level. Days where I experience laughter and joy despite the fact that I’m weebly wobbly are days where I should perhaps pause and remind myself how good life is.

Either way, the point of this realization is not so much to change my mind state, but to shine a light on what is happening today. How will I react to the world today? How will I meet the challenges that come my way? If something isn’t perfect, will I have a hissy fit or a meltdown, or will I shrug my shoulders and say, “C’est la vie”? The simple awareness of how I might react usually shifts the reaction, making me more likely to pause and breathe instead of instantaneous response. Balance on the mat or not, that’s balance off the mat for certain.