Balance is a process. You will find yourself out of balance most of the time. When you become aware of it, just stand on two feet, shift your pelvis back and glance at your ankles. Let your chest drop down. Relax every muscle in your body. Do a minuscule shoulder roll right and left. Slide your head forward a smidgen, glide it back. Relax.

As you begin to practice, you may feel achiness, dizziness, or fatigue. As you shift your bones, you are changing the length of muscles and the distribution of weight through your joints. You may feel the pull that comes from stretching tight muscles to their natural length. As you become more balanced, these sensations will go away.


Are you worried about relaxing your abdomen? Most people are. Lifting the chest up continually over-stretches our abdominal muscles at the same time they are held (contracted). That's why the abdominal muscles are difficult to tone. As you place your bones in their natural alignment, your abdominal muscles will come back to their natural (shorter) length. Notice how you feel when you relax your abdomen, and trust your common sense.

The out-of-balance alignment comes from a superimposed image of how we are supposed to look. To take on that image requires muscular tension, which pulls the bones out of alignment. Alignment of bones determines the shape of muscles and the space available for vital organs. Forcing your body to conform to an unnatural image causes deterioration in the entire musculoskeletal system and has a negative impact on all other body systems. By placing your bones in balance and releasing your flesh downward you can regain your own natural body shape. The more you relax your belly, the more you will have an hourglass shape if you are a woman, or an inverted triangle shape if you are a man. The reason the model in the photos is so shapely from the front and back is that she has released her abdominal muscles (Figs. 9).

Balance reestablishes the aesthetic that existed until the early 1900s. The shift in bones brought with it a shift in aesthetic values.

This is just a beginning, and you probably have questions. When I first started to comprehend the principles of balance, I was worried that it would negate all my past training. What I have found is that hatha yoga prepared me to absorb the new information quickly, and that my practice of postures just extended into all my daily movements. Every move I make is now practice, and with that there has been an enormous expansion of awareness. What I have also found both for myself and for my students is that even the smallest amount of balance helps. So even though we have made only a small beginning here, working with these shifts may have a huge effect on you.