Balance is key when practicing yoga! Learn more about your nervous system and the anatomy of balance in this article, with insights from Runa Yoga Teacher Linda. Linda has an educational and professional background in recreational physical therapy, and applies what she knows to her yoga classes.
"One of the anatomy topics that I enjoy teaching and feel is very important for people to understand is balance.
Our Central Nervous System relies on 3 systems for balance; our proprioceptive system which sends messages to the brain about our base of support, our visual system which sends messages to the brain regarding our visual orientation to our environment, and our vestibular system which sends messages to the brain regarding the position of our head in relationship to our body position in our environment.
In several yoga poses it is important for the instructor and the participant to understand how the body is balancing. It might be good to start with a wide base of support with eyes open focusing on a drishti [concentrated intention or focused gaze], then progress to a narrower base of support or single leg standing position, possibly closing the eyes or moving the head to make it more challenging.
We [instructors] always want to give people options to stay safe, but know how to challenge themselves when appropriate."
- Linda, Runa Yoga Teacher
Learn more about Linda's work by visiting her website, A Grateful Breath.
Photo courtesy Linda Farrell.