Balance is at the heart of every athletic activity. Balance is synonymous with stability, steadiness and equilibrium, which is the result of equal action of opposing forces. Imagine the way a great gymnast, baseball pitcher, ice skater, runner, tennis player uses his/her body. What does good balance afford? It brings flexibility, agility, and ultimately, control. Control without balance must be acquired through tension and rigidity, which is the primary source of discomfort and pain.
Physical balance is so ubiquitous that we forget it is a requirement in every facet of daily living. Without balance, we would topple over at the slightest provocation. Balance requires gravity. Imagine trying to experience balance floating in zero gravity. Where would it be? In your feet? Your hands? your body? There would be none. So our prerequisite for balance is gravity. Gravity is the interacting pull between two masses: in our case, the earth and our bodies. These two masses are inextricably tied together, and to ignore balance in ANY physical activity is to be in battle with one of the essential forces of nature. The direct path to balance follows the line of gravity. The first step in our experiential journey is understanding gravity and how it feels. So let’s try a few simple exercises to experience gravity and how it acts on our body.