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The Two Secrets to Balancing

A lot of people have problems with balance. Many people who are athletically-gifted or natural athletes complain that they aren’t good at yoga because they have problems balancing. Of course when someone just starts yoga, it takes time to adjust to the awkwardness involved in some of the poses, and it takes time for your body to understand how poses work until you can begin to balance, but there are many people who find that even though they have been practicing for a long period of time, they still are not developing the balance that they hoped to have gained. Well, here’s my solution.

Sometimes change happens on its own. More often than not, however, the only way to see real change is to make a conscious effort to address what you are attempting to change. In order to change something about yourself, you have to make a conscious effort to start changing the way you make decisions. In order to surmount your own prejudices, you have to force yourself to think differently. On a less serious note, in order to make yourself better at balancing, you may have to start changing the way you think about balancing. Sometimes it doesn’t just happen with practice. Here is the first secret to balancing: the more muscles you can engage, the easier it is.

Ever try to balance on a bosu ball? The trick is to engage your core. Same concept applies to yoga physical fitness. When you engage the muscles in your legs and your core, not only does this take pressure out of other areas of your body, but it stabilizes your body as well. When you flex your muscles, the body parts around those muscles can’t move, which means that they stay in place, and voila… you’re balancing.

The second secret to balancing is speed. The slower you move into the full extension of a pose, the more stable it will be. Ever try handstand from crow? If you shoot your legs up into the air and try to hold your legs firm, it’s not going to happen. The only way to do it properly is to slowly raise your legs into position. Your body can’t account for that rapid change in position and still keep everything stable. If you do it slowly, your body will adjust. Does this take more strength? Hell YES. But that’s a positive. Instead of jumping into a pose quickly and praying that somebody gets the picture at the right time, do it slowly, build strength, and then do it correctly. So you’ll be stronger AND better.

Man Flow Yoga… out.

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