Slightly Off Centre


On the playground there is always that one kid that, rather than sit on the teeter totter (otherwise known as a seesaw, depending on where you grew up!) stands balancing in the middle with one foot on each side… teetering back and forth. Francisco used that analogy this week at his event here in Toronto and it just made so much sense to me.

Yoga brings us emotional coherence. And emotional coherence is the kid standing in the middle of the teeter totter, teetering back and forth between the opposing forces of positive and negative emotion. You might think… why don’t you want to be all the way over on the seat of positive emotion? Experience as much joy, elation and bliss as possible? Be as far as possible from the negative seat on the other end of the teeter-totter?

Well, because of the pendulum swing. The more time you spend in a place of extreme elation the harder the swings back will be. And they will happen. Life is full of ups and downs, good and bad things happen, neither of which lasts forever.  

What swings one way always swings back the other. If you swing too far in one direction the swing back to the other is harder on the system. When you desire to always be joyful; when you attach yourself to that state; when it ends, the impact will be more devastating throwing you off balance.

So what does Francisco advise? Go for slightly off centre. Stand on that teeter totter slightly towards the positive state of being. Be there. A state of feeling fine.

A consistent yoga practice can help get you there. Yes please.


Heidi Philip, Kaiut Yoga Teacher, Toronto Canada