Improving Physical Balance
Ahh, balancing, you know the ones… that require standing on one leg…. while flexed over in Warrior 3 or a any variety of a twist! Poses that include balance can be super tough, yet they’re very important for stability, body awareness, mental focus, strength, and agility.
It can be a frustrating experience to try balance poses, particularly if one feels they’re just not good at it, yet they’re strong, athletic, and in shape. No excuses, time to get on it!! As with all other endeavors, one has to practice to become better. Here are some tips:
- Let go of the result. That’s right, if you try so very hard, you’ll only tense your body and mind and feel defeated. Instead, make the pose smaller with your free hand or foot close to a block, the floor or a wall. This way if you lose it, you can regain the pose and try again without shifting very far. The key is to let go and find the place where balance exists, not to push or pull your way to it.
- Ground yourself into the floor. Bring your attention to the center of your body, experiencing the oppositional energy between rooting down and growing tall.
- Keep a very small bend in your supporting leg’s knee as opposed to locked back. This will help to align you in a more natural manner, as well as allowing the supporting leg to make tiny adjustments while in the pose.
- Understand that each day may be different. You stood in Tree Pose for 8 breaths last week? Today may be more or it may be less. Don’t compare or judge, just be with it. Our body’s chemistry is constantly adjusting, therefore poses, like workouts, are new each day.
- Find a focal point that isn’t moving and then get out of your head by softening the muscles around the eyes. You’ll begin to gaze instead of actively looking. While this happens your attention goes within. Feel your breath and go into it slowly.
- Know that our bodies are never still. If you sway or your ankle jiggles, it’s just an indication that your brain is trying to find the way to accomplish the task. With practice it will get easier and more comfortable.
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