Yoga with Michael Jackson

Remember that awesome moment in the Michael Jackson song “Smooth Criminal” when they lean way forward? Like waaaayyyyy far forward. This moment right here;

This one of my favorite balancing practices. We don’t look quite like this of course, but I love doing it because I become aware of the bigger spectrum in balancing and finding my center of gravity.  Balancing isn’t a fixed state or perfectly weighted object. That sounds and feels more like being STUCK.  In this MJ balancing pose, we go to the edge of our balancing spectrum, which makes it so much easier to come back & find the center of gravity. Then we lean backwards to feel gravity pulling on the backside of the body. And again, coming back to find that sweet spot in the center, where you don’t have to work so hard to hold yourself back or up, there is a physical sensation of relief.

What if we looked at balancing more as a spectrum of sensation and not a perfectly immobile object or even-steven relationship? Balancing would be a constant fine-tuning, and making subtle adjustments to find the sweet spot of the spectrum… over and over and over again. Because life changes and sometimes you need to sleep more and other days you need to work more and you keep adjusting and fine tuning, going to the edge of the spectrum and bringing yourself back to the sweet spot.

Did you know that Michael Jackson had special shoes created (and patented) to make that big leaning forward move more possible? The heel of his shoe locked into place allowing him to lean forward past the normal human. But he still had to build incredible strength in his legs and up his spine to be at that angle. Gravity is for real, even if your heels are nailed to the floor. Michael Jackson (and the other dancers) had to have built up a tolerance for extending their spectrum of balancing beyond their experience. I can’t imagine they went that far on the first try. They had to have practiced that billions of times to find what was the furthest point they could safely go and how long could they hold it. And could they bring themselves back to center  from the furthest point without falling over? That is it’s own struggle, right?

The next Saturday Morning Yoga retreat is all about balancing & the boundaries that help us find the sweet spot, which is even bigger & deeper than this awesome Michael Jackson dance move. The retreat is this Saturday, October 13th,  9a.m. – noon, at Philo Presbyterian Church. The cost is $30, if that works for you. Less if that makes it possible for you to come.  If you plan to come please send me an email at  We’ll make room for you, I promise. Bring a yoga mat, a small blanket, and a water bottle. Dressing in layers is always advised so you can put them on and off as needed. While some experience with yoga is always useful, beginners are welcome. This retreat is most appropriate for people who can get up and down from the floor with relative ease. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.

All the peace on your head you can balance,


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