Rami's Blog

Like the Yin-Yang, Eastern Martial Arts and Western medicine are two halves of a whole. My mission is to preserve the ancient mind-body tools, and pass them on to you.

 

Achieving Physical and Mental Balance, Part 5

Welcome back to the series on Achieving Physical and Mental Balance! To see the previous installments in the series, look here: Part 1 & Part 2 (Flexibility), Part 3 & Part 4 (Strength).

This week, we kick off the next and final section of this mind-body prescription: Experiencing your Mass & Weight.

Keeping your balance and protecting yourself from harmful falls is not all about being strong or limber. Plenty of strong and flexible people fall down and injure themselves every day. There is a third piece that is as important as the other two, and that piece is about experience. You have to be familiar with the experience of being off-balance, or shifting your center of gravity, if you are going to react appropriately in dangerous situations.

Our natural instincts when we lose balance can help us, but they can also hurt us. Think: when someone slips and falls, their arms often flail outward in all directions. This can be good if there is something around to catch ahold of. If there isn't, then this could be bad. Many people have broken an arm or wrist because they landed on it with their entire body weight.

What we have to practice doing is feeling off balance, and then moving our center of gravity in a controlled way that gets us safely to the ground (if that's where we need to go).

So, without further ado, here are the first two exercises in the third section: Experiencing your Mass and Weight.

  1. Stand on One Leg - The easiest way to simulate being off-balance is by standing on one leg. We all have a different level of balance when we start off, so you may be able to do this easily, or you may need a lot of support to keep yourself up. Start wherever is safest for you, and work your way to the free-standing version of the exercise. Do this for 1 minute on each leg, twice a day. (See the video below).
     
  2. Duck Walk - This funny-looking exercise is about controlling your center of gravity and your balance as you get lower to the ground. It also builds leg strength while you do it. Do 50 steps twice a day, and try to move lower over time.

That's it for Part 5! See you next week for Part 6!

Happy Stretching!