Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
I take a lot of classes at the gym, mostly yoga and boot camp. We seem to spend a lot of time challenging our balance, with exercises or poses that involve standing on one leg or (terrifyingly) our heads or arms. What I’ve distilled through these years of looking like a fool and falling all over the place is that balance can be thought of with this handy little equation:
Balance = strength + focus
Let’s break it down.
The fitness experts are always telling us we need to strengthen our core. When you’re trying to balance, you need to use the core muscles—literally, tighten them and keep them strong. They can’t be all loose and flabby, or you won’t have the strength to balance yourself.
You also need strength in the part of your body that you’re balancing on. If I’m on my right foot, I need to use all the muscles in my right leg. I think of myself as being strongly rooted in that right foot and use the strength in that leg to keep me balanced.
When you’re trying to gain balance, you can’t be looking all over the place. You need to find something upon which to focus your eyes, while inwardly you focus on placing your body where you want it. If your eyes start darting around, or if you quickly lift your head in search of a mirror to see how you’re doing, you’ll fall over. You’ve got to maintain that focus.
Once you’ve attained a state of balance and are comfortable in it, you may be able to look around from where you are without losing your balance—if you’re grounded firmly enough using that strength.
Strength + focus: With these two ingredients, we can find balance and maintain it.
Of course I’ve been trying to apply this equation to my life. Cultivating balance is always a priority for me. What does it mean to “strengthen my core” spiritually, emotionally and mentally? How does having a focal point on which to place my gaze help me find overall balance?
You tell me:
How can we apply “Balance = Strength + Focus” to life itself?