How to Improve your Balance Exercises

We girls always have so many things to talk with each other. Deal is that even if two girls might come from entirely different cultures or backgrounds then also they can make an awesome conversation. You see we have so many randoms things to discuss like “New shoes always bites”, “Wether oval shape or round shape sunglasses are better?”, “Boys look cute with beard or without it”, “Aww, your nose ring is so nice” and so many things like that.

Infact I think we can manage to talk in gestures if we do not know a common language :P . Actually, I am doing a lot of it these days. I meet a lot of girls, from different parts of the world, in my yoga classes or in library or on roads etc. And as I love talking. So I talk with them, Just like that and hence I wrote the above paragraph :P

Anyways, the topic of today’s post is balance. Yesterday when I was doing a simple standing leg raise, I was finding it difficult to balance myself. Although I have been doing a this leg raise from so many years but it was only yesterday that I asked myself that why the hell do we grapple  for balance when we shift to some other position from our normal standing position . Why do we need to do something called ‘balance’ ourselves when we are standing just on one foot? And how can I improve this balance in me?

I read and found out that this imbalance in us is created by the play of center of gravity.

An adult human’s center of gravity is located roughly at the center of their torso at about the height of the belly button (at about 55% of the total height)The exact location of a character’s center of gravity will shift depending on the pose. For example, this character’s CG rises a few inches when she raises her arms. The center of gravity can even be at a point outside the body, such as when bent over in an inverted-U pose.

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I won’t go much into what is center of gravity. And directly come to its relevance with balance. So there is a line which passes though this CG. It is called line of gravity. Now any object, which is kept on any surface has a plane of contact with that surface, which is called base. Like our base for standing on the surface of the floor is the area taken by our feet. To keep us in balance this line of gravity should pass through our base. Umm.. wait, I will tell you, with an example, what I mean. In the pics the whole grey area is our base for standing.

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When we raise one leg, suppose right leg as in a quad stretch or say in vrikshasana then 2 things happen.

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1) Our CG and hence Line of gravity shifts towards the left.

2) Our base is now the left foot.

So to balance in this position. It is required of us that we let the line of gravity pass through our new base i.e through our left feet. This is the reason when we stand in vrikshanas we have a tendency to shift our weight towards our left hip and turn our torso to the left. This action helps in shifting CG to the left to let the line of gravity pass through the sole of our left foot.

Huhh! Now the point is that what the hell I do of this information? :P . This info can help you do balancing poses better. How?

Whenever you do any balancing pose keep these things in mind  1. What is my base. Then try to shift your body weight more on that side.

Other thing, you must have noticed that when you raise your hands while doing  vriksaasana then the imbalance increases. As raising hands moves CG vertically up. So that means the higher the CG goes the more challenging it becomes to stabilize. Hence if you are a beginner then instead of starting a balancing pose with a straight knee, start with a bent knee. Trick to lower the CG. Next time try vrikshaasana with a bent knee :)

Balancing poses are good for two main reasons. They strike those small core muscles which conventional exercises cannot. Hence they are amazing for strengthening. And we should not mind practicing them with the support of a wall before trying to do them as it is. Doing with the wall will help to trigger/strengthen the smaller muscles. This strength can be used later on to do these poses without the help of the wall.

Second reason is we cannot do balancing poses while chewing a gum as they need a lot of attention. We will have to literally think of grounding our foot firmly and adjusting our weight properly on one foot so that the Line of CG passes through the base of the foot. So basically balancing poses enhances our concentration like anything, which ultimately calms the mind :)

Hummph humph.. For this ballet dancer the base point is the tip of her toe. So she has to pay a lot of attention on how to adjust her weight to let the CG line pass through the toes. Alertness!!

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Proper lifting and Center of Gravity

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I found this really interesting so sharing it with you. In the first pic, the ball is light so the CG of the girl plus the ball passes through her toes and she is able to balance herself while lifting the ball whereas if the ball was heavy and she has tried to lift it so far from her arms then the CG Line had not passed through her toe. In that case, howsoever strong she may be, she will not be able to balance herself with the ball.

This is the reason in the second pic, the girl holding a heavy bottle has to hold it close to her body to keep the CG and base thing in check. When I saw this pic, I thought of dead lifting with a heavy weight. Lifting close to the body is the key :) Just that in the image the girl is using her legs too. We rather use our core! :)

Also the wider and firmer the base the balance. So plant your foot or feet firmly, with fingers spread widely. Unless you decide to be a ballerina :P

Have a class, will rush now
Cya
Love
Nidhi

Also Read
How to Improve your Balance Exercises

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