Balance is insidious.

We are always seeking balance whether you know it or not.

By balance, I don’t mean “life balance.” I mean “living in a vertical plane and on two feet” kind of balance. Even when we are laying down, our inner ear and other very important body systems are seeking out where we are in space.

The methods in which we try to find and improve body balance are synonymous with the ways we have traditionally sought proper posture: we follow rules and exercises that don’t really take into account the body’s desire to seek out ease, comfort and resiliency.

We over industrialize and mechanize our routines with repetition, as opposed to simplifying with skill and diversifying with intelligence.

Here’s what I mean (plus a story from my personal archives)

I used to work as I personal trainer and fitness “rehab” specialist.

It was around the time that balance boards, physio balls and the BOSU became really hot stuff in fitness facilities. I was obsessed with them. I was strong, but I was also really stiff and sore.

Now, don’t get me wrong, these tools definitely offer support when it comes to challenging balance and increasing the ante of a fitness regime, but more often than not, people do these exercises with little body awareness, oodles of asymmetries, and they end up strengthening their bad movement habits.

Will, not skill becomes the primary driver of our actions and survival (always) wins over the cerebral and cortical powers of the brain in instances like these.

Here’s what I’d love you to try.

If you are reading this and YOU DO use these tools, then try this experiment:

  1. CHECK IN with your balance and ease of being on your tool of choice; this could be your surf board, paddle board, yoga mat, balance board, slack line, the ground, the dirt… you pick.
  2. Just check in; don’t fatigue yourself.
  3. Then, try the audio lesson I’ve attached.
  4. Then, GO BACK, to your tool of choice, and RE-CHECK your balance and resiliency.

This lesson (that I’ve titled “Sides and Circles: A Standing Scan with an Imaginary Pencil”) could have hundreds of purposes, but I want to share it with you in the context of gaining better contact, communication and resiliency between your feet and your environment.

A perfect lesson for spring and summer-time fun!