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How to Improve Your Balance

Jun 30, 2021

Here’s something you may not know….walking is actually controlled falling.  Think about it...every time you take a step forward, you fall forward until the back foot steps forward and catches you.  To bring that foot forward we rely on our balance and our coordination.  If we don’t have it, we lose our balance and fall. 

To make our walking (or controlled falling) as steady as possible, we need to improve our balance.  When we work on our balance in specific ways, we learn how to better engage with various terrain and situations around us.  

So today we are focusing on...

How to improve your balance so that you can walk, run, and do all types of movement with more control and coordination.

Now, practicing balancing poses on a consistent basis will help you tremendously but there’s also something else you can do and it has to do with your gaze.

Often in a yoga class, the instruction is to look at a specific point on the floor or wall while balancing on one foot.  However, although this is helpful for a yoga pose, it’s not a helpful cue in developing balance that will serve our walking and navigating of different landscapes.  And that’s because when we are off our mat and out in the world we rarely look at one point.  

Instead, our gaze is traveling everywhere - we are taking in our surroundings, turning towards noises, talking with a friend, looking at the sky, the ground, and all around - we are perceiving the space around us at all times.

Best way to improve your balance...

One of the best ways to improve your balance, is to do exactly what you do in real life….look around - shift your gaze - and even close your eyes.

Practicing this in an intentional way on your mat, will help you become more stable on your feet as you walk, as you reach, as you step over logs and rocks and other obstacles, and as you age.  

Also, when we practice balancing in this way, your body works harder to find balance and thus becomes stronger and more adept at finding its' center.

And don't forget to challenge yourself...

The other things to do is to progressively challenge your balance.  When you feel steady in a balancing pose, it’s time to add on and challenge yourself a bit more.  We want to continually seek shapes or poses that invite instability in.  We want our bodies to work and engage in new ways all the time.  When we do this, we build more strength, balance, and coordination.  

Try this...

When you practice balancing poses, be sure to include shifting your gaze, looking side to side and up and down and even close your eyes.

By practicing this you are bringing your body into new situations where it learns how to deal with instability.  This work will help you feel more stable as you move about your life.  

Practice this often and let me know how it goes for you!

With a big hug,

Amanda

If balance is something you want to improve, join the Brave New Yoga Membership and take a variety of classes focused on increasing your stability, strength, and balance (like the one above!).  Start your FREE 14-day trial today.

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xoAmanda