Why can I BALANCE better on one leg than the other?

As a yoga teacher, I am frequently asked this question.  It’s natural for our bodies to be off balance especially when the last time you may have balanced was on a balance beam in junior high gym class. 

Many of us are stronger in one arm than the other.  Obviously, the stronger arm plays a dominant role in our many mundane activities –reaching for a cup of coffee, brushing your teeth, writing, eating sushi (a few of my favorite thingsJ).  As you start to observe how you move through your daily chores, you’ll probably notice you lead with the same arm regardless of the activity.  The same goes with the legs.  Which leg do you usually engage first when climbing the stairs? 

Over time, we naturally become too dependent on the stronger side of the body.  The weaker side of the body becomes overly passive while the stronger side gets overworked.  This sends us off balance. 

Balancing poses in a yoga class give us an opportunity to bring the body back to neutral.  Many yoga poses work to bring the body into balance.  Standing poses like Garudasana and Vrksasana allow you to easily experience my point.  These require more than simply balancing on one leg.  Level hips, equal footing and a steady gaze with a flowing breath are just a few key elements to finding your balance. 

Start to observe how you move in your life, both on and off your mat.  Taking a few seconds a day to notate how you move can do wonders for your balance and your body.        

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