Our physical, mental and emotional selves are intricately linked and so it stands to reason that if we’re feeling anxious and unsettled that we will find it near impossible to balance on one leg. In the same way, if we work on our physical balance we will find nervous feelings start to abate and we will experience reduced stress.
Though we understand the mental and physical connection, we often think that balance is something to focus on when we’re old, however maintaining good balance is crucial at all ages. Having good physical balance means we can stay in control of our movements and in turn build strength and agility. We know that strength and agility is important for our body to function at its best. Understanding where our body parts are in a 3-dimensional space comes down to having good Kinaesthetic awareness. This, along with strength and agility, helps to prevent accidents and injury, which as we age, take longer to recover from.
The good news is that whatever your age, physical balance is something that can be improved. A great way to start is standing on one foot when you brush your teeth. When this gets too easy, take it up a notch and close your eyes or slowly move your arms overhead, to the side and then independently. Try and lower down to pick up something off the floor (balancing on one foot). Don’t forget to work on both sides of the body. It’s common to have one side more balanced than the other so try some extra focus on the wobbly side and things will start to even up. Most importantly, don’t forget to focus on your breathing. Taking long, deep breaths will help to keep your mind steady and your body calm. Once you start to feel more comfortable, lengthen each breath and take your awareness away from your external surroundings. Focus inward to really enjoy the mental and physical benefits that balance brings.
While you’re resting on one leg, take a moment to consider your mental and emotional balance. Do you live life at a frenetic pace, moving quickly from one thing to the next, exercising at high intensity and always trying to get the next thing done? While this may be incredibly efficient, the impact on the mind and body not all positive. It’s important to take time to ease back and change up the speed. Integrate some balance into your everyday life. If you spend hours in front of the computer (be that at home or in the office), then take a couple of hours out in nature, discovering some new amazing bush walks in your area. If your exercise routine is fast and furious then throw in a weekly slow yoga class and release into this new experience.
You’ll feel transformed, physically, mentally and emotionally.