Main menu

Pages

7 exercises to develop body and mental balance

Balance is a fundamental element of virtually everything you do, but it's an aspect of training that is normally overlooked. Therefore, it is really important to update your routine with some exercises to improve your balance.

Exercising your sense of balance can help you improve your posture, boost athletic performance, protect your joints, and decrease the risks of falls. Don't take your balance for granted. By challenging yourself, you can increase your stability.

7 exercises to develop body and mental balance

1. The vertical

On an unstable and firm surface observe how you can vary the alignment of your body and regulate its stability from your plantar support tripods.

Put a bag of rice on your crown and feel its weight on the skull and how it responds to that "compression" with a subtle impulse that you send thanks to the ground.
Draw a clear line in the depth of your body that relates top to bottom.

Organize around it.
Play with the intensity with which you straighten up until you find the most effective way for you.

2. Work on plant support

With your feet as parallel as possible,put a soft foam ball (or two pieces of sponge) under each plantar vault. You can place it very slightly inward, as if supporting the inner arch of the foot, which is the most pronounced.
Hollow out the plantar vaults so as not to crush the foam.
Then rehearse two simultaneous actions: hollow out the vault while maintaining a push to the ground with each point of the tripod plant.

3. Sight and balance

Unfold a long ribbon on the floor in front of you (it is also possible to follow the line of the tiles or parquet, or trace it with the imagination).
Then walk on it as if you were a funambulist, respecting it as best you can, and at each step you take place your feet carefully aligned to the front.
Walk the line forward and then walk backward. There is no risk of falling, so look at the use you make of your supports. You can use your arms (and even a light umbrella) to balance yourself better. That way you can "feel" the upward direction more clearly and anchor yourself to it as well.
So far it is not very difficult...

Try doing it right away with your eyes closed or blindfolded.

4. Test your supports

In situations of balance (crossing a river of stone in stone, dodging puddles, descending a steep mountain) use your tools: the look, the calm breathing, the pelvic floor, the counterweights, the directions of space... but above all take care of your supports and do not leave one until you have installed the next.

5. Push yourself from your supports

On a silk fabric that slides push yourself with your foot supported.
Orient the thrust of your supports towards the ground to modify your trajectory.

6. Anchor yourself in your supports

Face down on a sliding blanket or skateboard, bend your knees and cross your ankles so as not to support your feet.
Use the ground with the help of your hands and establish through them a firm anchor from which to move forward by moving elbows and shoulders.

7. Action and reaction

Start by feeling your feet and organize yourself to let the weight of the body passively fall on them.
Feeling that weight fill your feet, gently hollow out the vaults and actively project each of the points of the plantar tripod into the ground, as if taking root.

Feel the difference between "dropping on your feet" and "standing from your supports."
Notice how the active use of your supports straightens and aligns your body and joints. On one foot, observe how the conscious and active use of your supports influences your joints.
With practice, you can dose this action (enough with very little but you can make it very marked in your first experiences).

8. Know how to flow

Attentive and reactive supports allow you to respond to the changing needs of activities that involve balance, such as the simple fact of standing or walking.

Walk as if you were kissing the earth with your supports.

9. Side by side

Sitting on a stool, feel the space between your eyes, your ears, your hamstrings, your knees, your feet... gently extend the chest toward the armpits when breathing in.
With your arms gently unfolded reach the space to your left with your left side, pushing you from your right tripod.

10. The 6 addresses

With one knee and foot resting diagonally, move in several directions from your supports without losing them.
Explore the space with your shoulders,arms, hands, gaze.
Notice how each direction is supported by deepening towards the ground in the opposite.

A BODY WORK THAT IS REFLECTED IN THE MIND

The Earth draws us to its center with force and holds all living things on its spherical surface. The feet form the basis that allows the body to erect itself vertically and react to the force of gravity.

We thus build a true organic sculpture thanks to the support of muscles and bones,guided by the will to stand up and to move and live. The Chinese ideogram depicting man – a line that relates heaven and earth – conveys that idea.

ROOTING CONNECTS US TO THE EARTH AND BRINGS US CONFIDENCE

Every time we raise a leg to advance we have the assurance that the Earth will attract our foot to itself again providing us with new support from which to take the next step. There is a reason why they call her Mother Earth!

Rooting is a common concept in various practices and therapies that we can apply in multiple contexts. It is related to a stable posture and a correct alignment of the body,but it also requires the ability to feel and establish a relationship with the Earth, perceived as a firm surface on which we can trust.

The conscious experience of connecting with the Earth is a muscular and mentally very different action from that of falling on it. And it can be very revealing both to improve posture and for vital attitude.

FLUENCY TO RESPOND

Rooting and stability do not imply immobility or stubbornness but, on the contrary, fluidity and willingness to absorb and transform external influences. Faced with a stimulus that threatens the balance, the ideal thing is to give in and move in order to take a new ground.

When the skill of taking a ground is practiced, losing balance is not a problem, as it is dynamic and is rebuilt again and again.

CLEAR MENTAL INTENT

  • The mere fact of standing implies an activity of balance and movement of small amplitude. To keep the skeleton vertical we oscillate permanently in a way similar to the flame of a candle.
  • The sense of balance is the one that allows walking without falling or the one that grants the ability to assume and sustain any movement or position of the body before the force of gravity.
  • It depends on various systems responsible for guiding the person in the middle.
  • In the inner ear is the vestibular system, an ingenious device that detects the displacements of the head in space and its changes in orientation with respect to gravity.
  • Muscles and joints have sensors that inform of the positions of the different parts of the body and their situation with respect to the support plane.
  • Through the view we know where we are in relation to the surrounding space. And based on all this information we react.

START AT THE BASE

Nothing can be erected without a base or a root. The key is to start building yourself by organizing from the grassroots.

Bamboo offers a nice example. In its early years it hardly grows. And, suddenly, it can gain several meters of height in a month. What did he do before? Build your base, create deep roots, which will allow you to ascend to the sky obtaining nutrients from the earth and resisting the onslaught of the wind.

It amazes the tower of bones that we build from a base as small as the feet. Let us also bear in mind that from this tower hang, in different places and heights, different weights (organs, muscles ...) that create forces in different directions.

Keeping this whole system vertical and undated requires energy and determination. Just contemplate a child taking his first steps.

THE BASE OF THE BONE TOWER

  • The foot is made up of twenty-six bones and a greater number of joints. In your plant are our supports. There is in each foot a plantar vault that is sometimes compared to a triangular sail, concave with respect to the ground and anchored to it in three points.
  • It must combine strength, elasticity and adaptability to support the weight of the body and the reaction of the ground, as well as to transmit to the ground the impulses of the body for walking and movement.
  • It gives the sole of the foot the shape of an irregular vault supported by three arches (internal, external and transverse) that join these points of support. The tripod anchors the vault to the ground and allows the weight to be transmitted to the ground. It falls on the base of the big toe, that of the little finger and on the center of the heel.
  • In an ideal situation the bones that give structure to these three arches do not "touch" the ground except at the points of the tripod. The soft tissues that line the plant make the transverse and external arches appear to be flat supported on the ground.

THE RELATIONSHIP WITH SPACE

What can conscious work on managing their supports bring to a person? As babies, based on hitting the ground with our hands, anchoring ourselves to crawl, crawling, we discovered the functioning of the supports. But it does a lot of that.

Now it is worth remembering that bodily we live in balance and that our way of erecting ourselves on earth implies permanent dynamic stability and availability for adaptation. A fixed or rigid attitude is not compatible with a fluid balance. Depending on how we organize this, we will show ourselves about the world.

When working on balance, it is rare to act directly on our perception of the surrounding space. The conscious knowledge of its depth, of its infinity in all directions, allows to lay invisible threads that constitute true supports in the direction that is most useful.

It also makes it possible to act on muscle tone and provides sharpness and clarity of intention to the movement.

AWARENESS AND INTEGRATION

The fruits of bodily labor depend on two key elements: awareness and integration.

Consciousness: It is the attention paid to what is being done. We choose one or two phenomena: what's going on in my ankles or how my pelvis adapts, for example. Bringing attention to the chosen element is a way of learning. We bring it to the observation table and, once observed and improved the use, we return the freedom.
Integration: The knowledge we acquire then operates from the unconscious and, if trained, will come in a timely manner. For that it is necessary to persevere,because each new learning is based on previous acquisitions. The secret is that the observation process becomes pleasurable on its own.

THE RELATIONSHIP WITH SPACE

What can conscious work on managing their supports bring to a person? As babies, based on hitting the ground with our hands, anchoring ourselves to crawl, crawling, we discovered the functioning of the supports. But it does a lot of that.

Now it is worth remembering that bodily we live in balance and that our way of erecting ourselves on earth implies permanent dynamic stability and availability for adaptation. A fixed or rigid attitude is not compatible with a fluid balance. Depending on how we organize this, we will show ourselves about the world.

When working on balance, it is rare to act directly on our perception of the surrounding space. The conscious knowledge of its depth, of its infinity in all directions, allows to lay invisible threads that constitute true supports in the direction that is most useful.

It also makes it possible to act on muscle tone and provides sharpness and clarity of intention to the movement.
Subtle changes in the body allow new thoughts and feelings to be embodied. It is worth being open to associations, to "revelations", to "realizing", without needing to put them into words. And give space for sensations to become knowledge.

Comments

table of contents title