The Importance of Positioning


Girl in a yoga pose with mountain scenery background
Courtesy Wikimedia Commons, Sigurdas, author

By Marty Klein

A few days ago I found myself lying on my back on the yoga mat, feeling the ends of the mat with my hands to see if my body was positioned correctly. I had just come out of a posture and, due to my lack of sight, felt the need to check in with my body alignment. My body was lying right in the center of the yoga mat correctly and I smiled, feeling good about my commitment to my yoga practice as well as to my desire for correct positioning. Then I had a sweet memory about positioning.

Years ago I used to play a lot of pool. Pocket billiards was the official name of the game that I loved so much. I got pretty good in a short time while attending the University of Miami, and, after winning the South Florida Amateur championship, I became known in Brooklyn as Florida Marty. The nickname was fun and part of the pool room parlance in those days, but more than that I loved the recognition and respect I received from all the good players.

One of the main reasons I developed excellence in the game was because of my practice routine. I worked consistently on my body mechanics, my stroke with the cue stick and my ability to understand the angles involved with making all the shots. But the most important practice had to do with positioning the cue ball for the next shot.

I’d take all the balls off the table except two; the cue ball and one numbered ball. I’d then line up a shot and then ask a friend to put a nine by eleven piece of paper anywhere on the pool table. My job was to make that shot and have the cue ball end up on that piece of paper. It was very challenging and I only on occasion watched the cue ball come to rest directly on that piece of paper. But my understanding of positioning and its importance to the game grew immensely, and looking back, I think that particular practice was a huge factor in my becoming successful.

Today I woke up with a new revelation about the thought of positioning. I had been dreaming about teaching people the art of positioning, but not just in pocket billiards. I was teaching them the importance of positioning ourselves in life so that we are set up to succeed. My explanation was taken right from the pool room, but instead of talking about a cue ball and a numbered ball, I was talking to them about people and the surroundings they find themselves in. I realized that the practice in the pool room helped me integrate the idea of positioning myself in all of life. 

Most of us have the ability to focus our sights on a specific desire, just like those folks who can make a shot in pool. But there’s more to the game in pool and there’s more to the game of life. When we learn the skill of positioning, life can become much easier and more enjoyable. Those who don’t understand positioning are all too often in the unfortunate position of having to work very hard just to sustain their lives. Of course there are many factors involved, and every now and then those with no positioning skills just fall into an easy period. But it’s usually a random experience, and as easy as it comes, it can easily disappear. That’s what happens to those who are only in reaction to random events. But each one of us has the ability to develop the skill of positioning. And when we integrate that skill in our lives we have basically set ourselves up for success. It doesn’t mean that things will always go well. But it does mean that we now have the odds for success in our favor, and any gambler will tell you that is exactly where you want to be!

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Marty Klein has written and published three books. His first, a memoir, “Blindsighted, One Man’s Journey from Sight to Insight,” is an account of his transition from being a self-centered, cocky soldier in the Air Force with normal vision, to a compassionate, loving counselor, workshop leader and family man with no sight at all. His second, a self help book is a compilation of insights and wisdom, gained from years of experience in the counseling world. His latest book, THE ENLIGHTENED GAMBLER, The Heart and Spirit of the Risk Taker in All of Us, has just recently been published and is now available on Amazon. He has co-produced a 5 CD yoga program, Beginning Yoga for the Blind and Visually Impaired.” www.blindyoga.net. In addition Marty was the founder and CEO of Southern Springs, a holistic learning center in Tallahassee, Florida. He has been totally blind for more than forty years, a counselor and workshop leader for over thirty-five years and currently lives in Woodstock, New York.

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