Before you can really learn about balancing and centering yourself, you need to learn about being still and silent. When you find a way to be still through silence and quiet time, you can also free yourself from your internal chatter. Find a quiet place to practice silence each day. If you are constantly caught up in “doing” you will never be able to find true comfort and serenity in your life.
To get in touch with your body, you need to learn how to balance and center yourself. The physical balance is easier to start with. A few balancing exercises such as moving up on you toes ( barefoot) and back on your heels a few times will let you know where you are. You can also stand on one foot and then the other to see how your balance is for the day. You may be surprised to find that you are more balanced on one side than the other. So if this happens- watch out for the unbalanced sided days!
In yoga practice you need to allow yourself to feel yourself planted into the ground. (allowing gravity to pull you down)
This strategy helps you to strengthen and align yourself. In mountain pose, you are supposed to feel yourself very straight like a string is planted on the top of your head, pulling up and straightening you!
If you learn to feel the gravity pull downward, you can wiggle your toes while standing straight, aligned but also relaxed, that is a tough one to practice.
Linda Christy Weiler in her book: The Mind-Body Connection explains it well:
The first part of learning about gravity is to connect your weight with the earth. While standing upright on both feet, the base of your support is your 2 feet. If you shift your weight to stand on one foot, then the base of support changes to a single point, or foot!
Both mentally and physically, if you think of your feet in terms of of having 4 corners while standing, this visualization can create 4 contact points instead of one. Thus a more stable and broader base of support.
Another step on gravity is learning about its power. Yielding to gravity helps us to get in touch with our own natural weight. When we sink down into the gravitational pull, you are anchoring ourselves into the earth as we “Let Go.”
Practice just standing, allowing yourself to be pulled by the gravitational pull of the earth.
When you are able to find physical balance within your life, mental balance will come. You will be able to still your body and mind, thus finding calmness and inner balance.