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30 Minute Mat Challenge: Balance And Bathe In Equanimity
yoga pose
Shoulder Bridge
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Bicycle
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Boomerang
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Control Balance
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Scissors
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Leg Pull
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Jack Knife
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End Of Sequence
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Rocking
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Leg Pull Front
repeat x5
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Swan Dive
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Swimming
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Side Bend
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Teaser
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End Of Sequence
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Side Plank On Knees
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Side Plank
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Lunge Twist
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End Of Sequence
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Single Leg Stand
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Quad Stretch
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Hamstring Stretch
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Standing Superman
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Lunge Twist
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Lunge
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Lunge High Twist
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Single Leg Stand
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End Of Sequence
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Relaxing Position

In this session, you'll have fun with matwork balancing exercises, and also give your body and mind an amazing workout. Each balance exercise can be used to build strength in different body parts, muscles and joints.

Benefits Of Balance

Body And Mind

The main benefit of practising balance exercises is finding balance in body and mind. When we balance, we align our body's centre of gravity with the earth's gravitational field. We place ourselves in physical equilibrium with a fundamental force of nature. But we can't achieve this harmony by remaining absolutely still. We need to refresh our balance from moment to moment. The sustained effort to centre and recenter brings the entire body (nerve impulses, thoughts, emotions, and consciousness) into a calm balance. Balance brings equanimity. With each moment that you struggle in a balance exercise, you are training yourself to remain calm in the chaos.

Physics Of Balance

The three essential elements of balance are alignment, strength, and attention. Alignment of the body with gravity is crucial; it makes balance physically possible. Strength gives us the power to create, hold, and adjust alignment. And attention continually monitors alignment so we know how to correct it from one moment to the next.

Tightrope Walker

Every time you use your arms to balance by holding them out to the sides like a tightrope walker, you're intuitively taking advantage of the fact that as the weight moves away from your centre of gravity, it has a greater effect on your equilibrium. If you have difficulty in any balance exercises (especially one-legged balances), use your arms to help stabilise yourself.

Spread Your Toes

You can enhance your equilibrium in standing balance poses by spreading your toes. The broader your base, the more stable you are, and even the slightest widening of the sole of the foot is helpful. 

Brain Versus Brawn

The better you get at balances, the less muscular effort you need to maintain them. This is because you become more skilled at using your bone structure to support your weight, rather than wasting muscle energy to do so. You also waver less, so you need to make fewer and smaller muscular corrections. It is important not to try to muscle your way through balancing poses. Don't replace good alignment with brute force. If you find yourself clenching the floor with your toes, white-knuckled, there's a good chance you are using too much brawn and not enough brain.

Plumb Line

Since the brain compares your actual position with an image of where you want to be, it helps to have a pretty precise internal image. One very useful image is to imagine a plumb line running down the point of balance. If you can develop a strong internal sense of this line, it will help your nervous system calibrate movements that maintain equilibrium along the line.

Humour - Patience - Curiosity

At a higher level of the nervous system, your attitude toward practising balancing poses has a huge effect on your success. Approach them seriously and with determination, but also with good humour, patience, and curiosity. Be like a child learning to stand. If you can laugh when you wobble or fall yet be ready to try the exercise again, you have found true balance in your practice.