Friday, 18 February 2011

Fabric-related balance


Recently my mother told me something that my sister had told her about yoga and balance. So this post comes to you possibly distorted by chinese whispers, but even with the distortion, it makes sense to me.

Apparently, the reason why balance, and specifically learning to balance while standing on only one leg, is so important in yoga is because it teaches you the inner strength to remain balanced even when life itself leaves you (metaphorically) standing on only one leg. I don't practice yoga, but since my mother told me about this I have been practicing standing on one leg. When my husband walked into the room and saw me making like a stork yesterday he asked what on earth I was doing. I explained the theory to him and now he's begun practising balancing on one leg too. When you're unsure what life may throw at you, the ability to stand one leg seems to be a good skill to be practised in.


Yes, it's disturbing to have to try and master inner balance on a maroon carpet, but I feel that if it can be achieved on this basis then I might just be one step closer to mastering, as my little boy would say, 'super-human mega strength'*.


Anyway, perhaps you came here to find sewing-related ramblings. I was trying to think of some tenuous link that I could pull at to make this seem like a legitimate post for what is meant to be a blog centring around sewing. But I couldn't find one. Until I had what seemed to me to be a Eureka! moment: I could try to stand on one leg, while holding some fabric in one hand and taking a photo of myself doing this using the other hand - I thought this to be a fabric-related challenge that might just make us all happy and make this blog feel thoroughly on target with its focus! And for the challenge to have been satisfactorily met, I decided that both myself and the fabric must be completely in focus. Above are some out-takes. There were a great many because it was a fiercely tricky feat that I'd set myself, so success was not immediately forthcoming. Eventually I realised that I was so involved in thinking about the fabric or the camera angle, that consequently I was wobbling all over the place. The moment I focused only on staying upright, my foot firmly rooted to the maroon atrocity beneath, my mission was accomplished.


I'm unsure what metaphor one can take from this to apply to real life...but you might like to know that the fabric featured in these shots is a Liberty Kingly needlecord purchased from ebay last year. It might one day become a skirt, but for now it has been returned safely to its drawer.

Wishing you a lovely weekend,
Florence

* Thus far this is a level of strength that my little boy has only attributed to his grandfather...but there's little harm in having high aspirations.

22 comments:

  1. You never know you have a handy skill until you need one! My yoga teacher also taught us about the benefits of having a passive face. We hold so much of our emotions in our faces that actually it uses a lot of energy. If you focus on letting go of your facial muscles, it's hugely relaxing and a great way to let go of tension.
    Cunningly, it also makes you very inscruitable - I used to do it at work in negotiations - it really throws the other side off balance! I don't know if you could use it to benefit sewing, however...

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  2. I'm now off to try balancing on one leg whilst holding fabric and taking a photo!

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  3. lol! :) Fun read! I think that fabric will make an adorable skirt! Hugs!

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  4. Perhaps you need to make it into a skirt quite quickly, as standing on one leg would be easier in a skirt than jeans LOL. I have tried it xx

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  5. I do a lot of standing on tiptoes while trying neither to wobble nor be unnecessarily tense, so your challenge seems perfectly sensible to me! Sometimes I combine it with brushing my teeth. I've also recently started walking along the low walls in the local park and plan to progress to those very narrow concrete edgings on the flower beds - it occurred to me that children do all those things to hone their co-ordination and then as adults we restrict ourselves to pavements and lose all that hard-won balance. By the way, try your one-leg trick with your eyes closed (and let us know how it goes!).

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  6. I have to confess to quite a lot of one leg standing. I did take a yoga course once but it is not my dedication to Eastern art that makes me do this but to I test muself. I reason that if I am able to do this every morning I am not aging too fast - as old ladies tend to fall over.

    (that Liberty fabric will make a lovely skirt)

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  7. Oh Flossie don't you know we come here for YOU - I don't care if you post on sewing or the prime minister, I just like your style. :)

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  8. Joanne, absolutely - this post shows that I am of perfectly sane mind, no?

    Ali, I love that. (And I love the idea of Domestic Ali in a tense work negotiation which I'm guessing was pre-children? Although even pre children I don't think I was ever working in a capacity that required tense negotiations other than requesting new keyboards - many years ago I consumed huge amounts of diet coke and would spill an entire can over my keyboard about once a month - a face full of sorrow was almost essential for those negotiations). Either way though, I can think of many times when I'd prefer that my face be inscruitable, so I shall begin practising this too - I feel like I'm becoming equipped to deal with just about anything life can throw at me now. Thank you.

    Nina,I feel unclear as to the rules of this new challenge - is that just eyes closed and one leg, or is that eyes closed, one leg, holding fabric and taking photo. I'm prepared to attempt either but you may need to be willing to contribute to a new camera if it's the latter...I will practice the former in the meantime. And I think your adult re-honing plans are super.

    Catherine - I love your theory and like this self-testing approach. I think that if you do it with such regularity you will be forever young and perhaps redefine what it is to be an old lady when the time comes. You will be a new non-falling-over variety and scientists will be desperate to study you (I am sure they will agree to pay you in balls of wool if preferred).

    Sarah Faith - what a completely heart-warming message - thank you. Although I may just run away with it and take it as carte blanche to ramble on about all sorts of things you may wish you'd never been party to!

    Thank you so much for your lovely comments everyone,
    Florence x

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  9. Well, that was fun.. Just in case no-one has told you, your balancing skills will have good days and bad days, so don't panic if you're more than usually wobbly one day!

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  10. Florence, now try doing the one-legged balance (tree pose) with your eyes closed! Hah! Just when I had gotten confident about this pose by practicing in front of a mirror, my yoga instructor started asking us to close our eyes while balancing. I expect to become even calmer when I master this. 'Cuz I NEED it!

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  11. I practice yoga but I've never been able to master the standing on one leg thing. I think it's called tree pose--I tell my instructor that I'm more like a tree in gale force winds with all of the wobbling I do. She tells me as long as I don't topple over it's all good. I take this metaphorically as well, and it makes me feel better :)

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  12. I love this post, and I love Joanne's comment. Just perfect. I will practise one legged standing tonight, but I may or may not do it with fabric in one hand. I definitely won't do it with a camera in the other!

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  13. This iy's the funniest thing ever!!!!!

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  14. Oh dear, definitely no cameras involved in the eyes-closed challenge, please! I bet there's a bit in your camera's safety instructions about not using it whilst on one leg anyway - I'm sure there's something like that in mine. Holding the fabric's probably safe enough but perhaps a co-ordinational step too far to begin with...

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  15. Hi,
    I have just found your blog while looking for make up bag patterns. You have some beautiful things here and your tutorials are so easy to follow.
    I have given you a Stylish Blogger Award, please take a look at my blog www.handcraftedbykayleigh.blogspot.com for more information. x

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  16. Hi Florence I have chosen your blog for a Stylish Blogger Award and you can read all about it at http://www.chopkins2011.blogspot.com

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  17. Love it - won't try though I always fall over! I nominated your blog for a Stylish Blogger Award xx

    Post about it here:http://wheremylifeis.blogspot.com/2011/02/stylish-bloggers.html

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  18. "I don't practice yoga, but since my mother told me about this I have been practicing standing on one leg."... this sentence just made me laugh out loud :) I was expecting you to say that you were considering taking it up. But, no, you're just taking the standing on one leg bit, thank you. Another yoga tip for you - apparently doing a handstand cheers you up :) Don't know where the yoga fits into it, only that I was told this in a yoga class recently.

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  19. I think the post was totally relevant to fabrics as I love the shade & cut of the denims you are wearing!
    Would you be so kind to share the brand please.
    Your being able to practice a yoga position in them proves they are versatile to do chores in too given the comfy flexability they must have.
    Thanks

    Sonia

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  20. Thanks for reminding me about this, Florence. If you do dash into London to catch it, you might want to see this too: http://www.londonmet.ac.uk/thewomenslibrary/whats-on/exhibitions/handmadetales.cfm
    I haven't been yet but my mum went with her sewing class and liked it. If you've never been here: http://www.geffrye-museum.org.uk you could make it 3 in a day... The Geffrye Museum's one of my favourites and is _not_ a museum about people called Geoffrey.
    p.s. This is Nina Y now using my Blogger account - the first step!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x