Finding Balance

From the book : Zen Body-Being: An Enlightened Approach to Physical Skill, Grace, and Power.” by Peter Ralston

“Try this out.

Try standing on one foot and study your balance. The first thing to notice is that, while you try to balance on one foot, you will experience some minor to major wiggling in the foot and adjustments in the body. This activity occurs because you are actually not balanced – instead you are continually managing slight losses of balance. From time to time, see if you can actually find balance, which is when the body comes to rest and no adjustments are necessary. This may not occur very often, but if you can catch it once in a while, then you will have a better feel for what balance really is, and so move to make adjustments to remain standing.

If this proves too easy, put your body into a shape that increases the challenge. Bend forward at the waist and stick your free leg out behind you, for example, or lean back and assume some other unusual shape. Balance is dependent on feeling the whole, not on the shape taken. Concentrate on feeling your whole body as it is, and then balance that feeling over the foot on which you are standing. Does that improve your ability to balance? Carry this sensitivity over to standing on two feet.”