Balance is the key to life

“In 2010, 2.3 million nonfatal fall injuries among older adults were treated in emergency departments and more than 662,000 of these patients were hospitalized”

life-balance-elephant1

My interest in balance did not come from these scary statistics, but rather from being scared when in balancing situations. I have been actively working out for about 15 years now, and throughout my physical fitness journey, I have always been excited about balancing challenges and ended up teaching core and using a “stability ball” quite a lot in my core classes. (Core refers to all fitness exercises  that are focused on abs/back – Pilates, some yoga, BOSU, stability ball etc).

Yoga is still a challenge when it comes to balancing – there are  many poses that I am struggling to do: some arm balances, a hand stand and an elbow balance which is for me a hit or miss pose.  You should see me when I try to muscle  my way through these poses, and you can easily guess who wins- not me, my friends!

So being a veteran of physical balance battle and a yoga teacher, THIS MUCH I KNOW:

1. Yes, you can improve your balance.

How many times have I heard: I can not balance, and people say it as if it is a rare talent given to a chosen few.It is not. Some are better than others, but unless there is some medical reason not to, we all can be pretty balanced.

2. To improve your balance, you need to TRAIN accordingly!

Working out overall will help – strong legs will support your feet,  strong core muscles will support the legs and a smooth breath will prevent your mind turning into a drama queen! Along with that, add balancing exercises/poses.

3. It takes a while – several months? a year? that depends on our bodies and confidence.

Balancing can not be rushed, we  progress slowly and steadily and we focus on small victories, oh yes, many many sweet little victories!

4. It is FUN!!!!

It truly is fun. There is something special about conquering little fears of falling, taming the mind with breath and kindness.

Ok, now, how do we go about it?

  • If you need to improve overall fitness- 30 min of cardio (walk/swim/bike/ski) at least 5 days a week.
  • If possible, add one (preferably two) Pilates/core workouts a week – 30 min is enough

Balancing:

  1. One leg balance by the wall – time yourself or start at 20-30 sec and then increase (2 times daily)
  2. Balancing on the balls of the feet: hands on hips, lift up and down, lift up and hold (once daily)
  3. Half-moon pose by the wall or in the middle of the room (whenever inspiration strikes you)

Here is the challenge for all:

One balancing pose a day – whichever you like!

To inspire you here is a famous proverb:

“One balancing pose a day, keeps a wheelchair away”

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Sharon Galbraith
    Dec 17, 2012 @ 18:19:40

    Love the elephant! I do the dancer’s pose and when life is somewhat less frantic, the half moon split. I am a morning person so it is easy for me then! Funny – you think when you get to be seventy, you will have ALL the world, but then you wind up taking care of a grandson! Oh, how I love it! slg

    Sent from my iPad

    Reply

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