My favorite yoga position is the tree pose. You stand on one foot, bend your other leg and place it against your thigh. Or shin, as the case may be. I love it because it makes me feel strong and stretched out. But since I had surgery a few weeks ago, I haven’t been able to stand in the pose for more than a few seconds without falling over.

I’m not in pain. The surgery wasn’t that invasive. But some part of me has been knocked off balance. Something I’m not conscious of, but is there. It’s like my body is telling me, you’re going to have to work a little harder now. Be patient with yourself.

Something similar is happening with my writing. I feel my mind swimming around, where normally it’s so focused. So I’m trying to be patient and do things to make it easier for myself. I give myself specific daily goals, for example. I pick one scene to work on. Or I work on researching those weird facts that I have listed in a notebook and never get around to doing. Or, as I am this morning, I focus on describing the sounds around me instead of just focusing on what I can see.

One thing I’m noticing is that being off balance forces me to see the world from a different angle. Maybe not quite the position I was hoping for, but maybe it will be even better. Maybe it will offer me insights I didn’t have. Maybe balance is overrated! Or perhaps there are joys to being unbalanced that I will discover. Have you had a time in your life when you’ve felt unbalanced?


  1. Oh Susan, I am always a falling tree whenever I attempt that yoga pose. I am convinced it is because I need more balance in my life and my body is trying to tell me something I keep ignoring. Once while on a yoga retreat at Kripalu, I stood for what felt like hours in front of a row of pine trees attempting the tree pose, hoping they would inspire me. Well, they did, in an unexpected way. I noticed how each of the trees were different, although they were all pines. None of them was perfect, but they were all beautiful in their own way. I left fully accepting my imperfect tree pose and my need for the assistance of a wall.

  2. Since I’ve never tried yoga in my life, I can’t comment on that. What I can comment on is the feeling of unbalance. Not physically–I seem to have inherited my mother’s catlike ability to land on her feet–but emotionally (or maybe spiritually). It happens when one part of my life crowds out others. Like writing to a deadline or worrying about some unsolvable problem. Like eating nothing but apples.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *