Maintaining a state of balance is a on-going process of making minor adjustments. The appeal of balancing practice for me is recognizing how impactful a subtle shift can be, the difference between stability and “flailure”.
Naturally, this week’s Movement Minute revisits the 2x4s for a balancing sequence and some musings on why this practice is so relevant to life.
First the practice. Two wooden planks laid parallel to one another; a simple context to dial in your mindfulness and focus.
I planned on some jumping, vaulting, and squat walking for the day’s session. This balancing sequence was a perfect warm-up. I performed 3 rounds with a short rest in between sets. I started with a free-form practice to build the sequence. In the second and third rounds I try to polish up the movements as much as possible. It’s fun, but I don’t get lost in play. The intention stays rooted in quality movement. I performed the following movements for about 10 reps (best arbitrary number ever).
- Deep Knee Bends 10x
- Deep Knee Bend Reach10x
- Tall & Low Reverses 10x each
- Precision Stepping 3 x 10 Lateral, Forward & Pivot, Rotational
- Jump Switch 10x
Points for Better Balance
For static balancing you might find stability in a visual focal point, but bringing movement into play requires you to feel movement from the inside out. Your sense of touch provides you a wealth of information to make the minor adjustments of balance. Your feet and hips are greatly responsible for processing position changes and making the calibrations to keep you steady.
Balance is dependent on how well you can keep your center of mass over the structures that are supporting you. Understanding this concept will demystify balance and give you a way to troubleshoot.
Practice slowly at first. It's tempting to use speed to mask inefficiency. Build strength in a diverse array of positions and practice moving in and out of those positions. Slow practice becomes smooth, fluid movement; an integration of techniques with symphonic execution.
Balancing is a Metaphor for Life
Some days I'm on point, some days a hot mess. And just when I think I have it all together, something unexpected comes my way. Life is a series of interruptions to my love of stability and predictability. It again comes to down to how apt I am at making the minor adjustments to these hiccups. Lately, I’ve been coming to grips with this paradox of life. Training continues to provide a tangible way to trust that, with intention and effort, everything will work out.
This particular practice appeals to my introverted nature; slow and methodical while I understand every part of the movement. Similarly, if you have trouble slowing down in your life, this routine could potentially help you hit reset. I think of it as a moving meditation; a chance to be patience and present within the process.
Balance isn’t inherited. It’s something to hone through exploration and trial & error. Balancing atop a shaky foundation is not balance at all. True balance comes from spending time out of your comfort zone and earning your stability. It feels like you’re in control, even when the situation looks precarious from an outsider’s perspective. While that control may be fleeting, time teaches the subtle art of rolling with punches.