I believe that people of the world are starting to take more heed of the notion of “working to live, not living to work”. There is shift starting to take shape in the workforce that recognises the need for balanced work-time and social-time in order to garner the best productivity from employees. For all walks of life – equilibrium brings equanimity.
So, when do we take the time to recognise when we need more balance in our physical bodies? This concept of body balance inspired me this month and I want to share with you a very, very simple balance routine.
It will allow you to see just how balanced you are physically, it will also challenge and stimulate your neuron synapses (the brain-to-body connectors) and start creating a better mind-body connection, as well as building a stronger, more even, physical balance on your feet.
I started teaching this balance set to my pre-natal clients but found that is was just as effective for all of my clients, to help them feel steadier on both feet as well as just one foot. I mean, let’s be honest, the feet are the roots of your body, we need to make sure we are always on a good, strong, steady foundation. We need to plant and nurture our roots!
Benefits of this balance flow include:
• Firming of gluteal muscles.
• Aligning of the outer hip fascia.
• Better muscle stability.
• Strengthens knees and ankles.
• Tones the legs and core.
• Focuses the mind.
• Creates a better mind-body connection.
• Unifies the bodies balance centres – the eyes, ears and feet (that is, your visual perception, vestibular functions and proprioception).
• Teaches better breath management.
• Improves mobility and vitality.
• Enhances nervous system function.
• When we balance, we align our body’s centre of gravity with the Earth’s gravitational field.
Please follow these steps to work through this very simple yet effective balance flow. Once you lift the balance foot, keep it lifted until the end of the flow.
1. Find some flat even ground to stand on.
2. Plant your right foot on the ground and concentrate on feeling the whole foot, even and solid, like a strong foundation.
3. Extend your arms out to the side with palms facing upward and shoulders rolled down the back.
4. Lift the left heel off the ground by about 15cm and flex the foot – hold for ten seconds.
5. Rotate your shoulders forward and turn your palms upwards in reverse, turn your left leg out to the side and toes are flexed up – hold for 10 seconds.
6. Bring your right arm forward, bending your elbow and bringing your forearm across the face (I call this, the ‘Masked Avenger’ arm pose), take your left leg back straight, toe pointed, left arm is reaching back along with the left leg, look over your left shoulder – hold for 10 seconds.
7. Keep your feet and legs in the same position and the arms will reverse, left elbow forward like a ‘Masked Avenger’ and the right arm extended back, look over the right shoulder – hold for 10 seconds.
8. Step back onto your left foot, kick your right foot forward, toes pointed, about 15cm above the ground, arms stay in the same position as the last stance and look over your right shoulder – hold for 10 seconds.
9. Place both feet to the floor, square the shoulders, rest and repeat on the other foot.
10. Remember, “even in the most unbalanced situations, balance is never that far,” according to BKS Iyengar, one of the foremost yoga teachers in the world.
Metta, Kim OXO
Kim White is the owner of Sala Samadhi. She offers authentic Hatha yoga instruction for private and group sessions. Contact: www.mindbodyyogasystem.com or 086 276 9174.
The opinions and advice contained in this column are those of the author only. The Phuket News is not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any situation.