Balance Does Not Mean Not Falling
By Carmen Curtis
Balance | Why do we need it?
Balance is key to success, and is important in every aspect of our lives. Finding balance is a part of our practice. Of course, we continually work to find balance in life, on and off the mat.
Keeping the mind and body in tune and in balance is vital to our health, longevity and wellness. Yoga is a practice that can help us find union of the mind and body. It can also be a helpful tool to find balance in life.
Balance Does Not Mean Not Falling
In yoga, there are many postures that work our balance. When in a balancing pose most yogis tend to focus on NOT FALLING! This often comes at the expense of correct alignment. In balance postures, the hardest part of the pose, it to stay in the correct alignment. When we work to just balance and not fall over we miss out on all the other aspects of the posture.
When the body compromises and goes out of safe alignment in order to not fall, it is actually not beneficial. It is sort of like cheating to find your balance. Over time, this ‘cheating’ can be dangerous. It is not good to the body and tricks the mind, ultimately resulting in even more issues.
Using a Hammock
The Beauty Of Balance Training Is That Anyone Can Do It. Play And Challenge Your Center, Even The Mild Ones Can Be Quite Affective.
This leads me to one of the biggest reason why I love using the hammock on a single point as a yoga prop. The hammock gives some support to help balance in correct alignment. But not too much support, as the hammock will not do it for you or inhibit your progress.
Yoga postures are only safe if done with the correct alignment for your body. Yoga should be modified to meet you where you are at and ready for.
The hammocks mild stability gives enough support to calm your focus on stabilizing. Just enough to keep you from falling. While at the same time stimulating and activating your stabilizer muscles without you having to focus on it. This allows you to pull more focus into your alignment and protect your body. Activating the stabilizer muscles will also help to protect you from injury.
Being Flexible Can Actually Make Balance More Challenging
If you are hyper-flexible, some of the balancing aerial yoga postures will be very challenging and even at times frustrating. If you are flexible you will be working so much harder than the tight student. The tight student will have opportunities to relax and soften in some of the postures. If you are tighter you will be working to open and create mobility. If you are more flexible you will not get to rest, as you will always need to be resisting to strengthen the muscles around their joints to protect them. You will have to work to resist from going too far and too deep.
This holding back is awesome strengthening for you and will ultimately help to protect you from injury. Teachers should remind their students of this. To work to boost their strength alongside flexibility, learning to control how far they want or should go in postures. These poses are a great chance to try to control muscles to stay in poses with proper alignment.
Balance training involves doing exercises and postures that strengthen the muscles. These muscles help keep you upright. Legs and core are both extremely important for these poses. Furthermore, working on your balance improves coordination and strength. These postures can also improve stability and help prevent falls. Of course, this is obviously important for anyone of all ages, but especially the aging population. As you age you tend to lose muscles and balance and are more likely to get injured from falling.
Balance postures can also be helpful for those who are overweight. For instance, weight is not always carried or distributed evenly throughout the body. The imbalances can potentially throw you off center.
Focusing on your balance can help clear and calm the mind. It is hard for your mind to wander or get distracted when you are busy working and focusing on centering. More strength and symmetry can offer a greater sense of confidence.
Balance is the key to everything. What we do, think, say, eat, feel, they all require awareness, and through awareness we can grow. – Koi Fresco