How is your balance? Stand in the middle of the room, put your feet close together so that your ankles are touching and then close your eyes for ten to fifteen seconds.
Did you notice how you actually never stood still?
Did you feel how you would sway a little in one direction, stop, and then go in another direction?
That is your nervous system constantly making corrections so that you don’t fall over. The proprioceptive information from your eyes, inner ears and feet is sent to the brain which then orchestrates the exact responses it needs from the muscles to keep you balanced.
Although the ability to balance decreases with age we can slow down the process by gently challenging our capabilities. Here is a short movement sequence that will give your brain the information it needs to improve your balance.
Stand behind a chair and rest your hands on its back; don’t lean against the chair.
Cross one foot in front of the other and close your eyes
Shift your weight into the front foot, stand there a moment and then shift your weight into the back foot and stand there for a few seconds. Come back to the middle where your weight is distributed between both feet. Repeat that a few more times pausing to feel your weight in one foot and then the other.
Cross your feet with the other foot in front and repeat step 3.
Open your eyes a pause a moment.
Uncross your feet and have them positioned about a shoulder width apart. With your eyes open, shift your pelvis sideways so that you feel more weight in one foot than the other and at the same time shift your eyes to look to the opposite side; then do the same movements in the other direction. Slowly alternate shift your pelvis and your eyes from side to side a few times feeling the response in your feet.
Return to stand in the middle of the room put your feet close together so that your ankles are touching and then close your eyes for ten to fifteen seconds. Notice how this feels different from the first time you did it. Chances are, your nervous system has become more aware of small changes and you will feel less sway as you stand with your eyes closed.
Giving your brain the information it needs to make subtle shifts is important for skiing, golfing, curling and any other sport where balance comes into play. If you can improve this much in less than five minutes just think what you could do if you put your mind to it!
Sandra Bradshaw, Guild Certified Feldenkrais® Practitioner and Functional Movement Specialist will help you to boost your capacity to move effortlessly. With a background in special education, yoga, functional movement, and music, Sandra integrates this with the latest brain research to help you find solutions to your personal needs that are effective and long lasting. If you are interested in more information or would like to make an appointment, call Sandra today at 250 862 8489. Visit Sandra on her website at www.sandrabradshaw.com
The Feldenkrais Method® created by physicist Moshe Feldenkrais, PhD., combines precisely structured movement sequences with the latest advances in brain research; it will help you recover from specific areas of injury such as the neck and shoulders or to improve fluidity and ease in sports, recreational activities or life. Join the ranks of such notables as actress Whoopi Goldberg, cellist YoYo Ma and the members of the Canadian Men’s Alpine Ski Team in experiencing the benefits of this method.