Absorb some of the weight bearing responsibility


Photo by Monica Felix @

Photo by Monica Felix @

Here’s something my yoga teacher recently asked the class during a difficult balancing pose.

“If the floor disappeared right now, which muscles would you be engaging?”

It’s a tough question. Because it confronts us with another one our unconscious yoga habits, gripping the floor with the fingers or toes to maintain balance.

When it’s just a crutch. An attachment. A shortcut. The floor shouldn’t be the thing we depend on, our muscles should be.

And so, instead of turning our limbs into fleshy vice grips, it’s smarter to engage the core and flex the surrounding muscle groups.

This creates a durable foundation that absorbs some of the weight bearing responsibility from our fingers and toes.

What unconscious yoga habits are you trying to break?

Scott Ginsberg is a writer, daily practitioner and work study volunteer at Bikram Yoga Park Slope.