Part 2 of 2
The CoreAlign is the space I take my clients to organize and integrate their full sessions into their full life. Now more than ever it feels like a good time to help our students create opportunities to experience balance physically, mentally, and emotionally.
If you didn’t catch Part 1 where we began a discussion on the importance of the nervous system and integrating it into a whole-person approach to wellness and balance, head on over here, and check it out.
Now to take a deeper dive into my 3 favorite upright training movements using the CoreAlign (CA) or a simple throw blanket:
CoreAlign Version: The Hoof w/ Head twist
Stand facing the CoreAlign (CA) Ladder with both hands loosely holding the rung closest to waist height. Allow each foot to rest on its respective CA cart sprung from the front on a relatively neutral tension setting (e.g., one blue). As one cart stays home the other cart is pressed backward, allowing movement solely from the knee down as the upper leg stays still. See if you can rotate your head to the opposite side looking away from the moving foot. As the cart comes forward to rest allow your gaze and head to once again look forward. Repeat on the other side.
Blanket Version: Blanket Hoof w/ Head Twist
Stand facing a wall with hands resting on the wall at chest height. One foot will rest on the solid floor, the other on the blanket. (Note: This movement only works on a smooth floor. For carpeted floor replace blanket with a paper plate.) Begin a similar hoofing sequence as mentioned above, but this time the blanketed foot will move from the knee down as the grounded leg stays still. A finesse point for both sequences as to maintain weight-bearing on both feet not just “grounded or still” foot.
CoreAlign Version: Lateral Slides
Stand with one foot on the standing platform and the other on a CA cart. Slide the cart away from home (abduction). Then guide the cart back home with control. You can try placing your foot on either cart (parallel or staggered) for varying effects. For support try keeping your hand balanced on the ladder, or to increase difficulty try hands-free (or with head rotation).
Blanket Version: Blanket Skating
Fully open your blanket and loosely gather it together in a pile. Stand on the blanket with a wide stance and further gather the blanket together until your feet are relatively together. Keeping your right foot still begins to press the left foot away from the body-weight center. Then slide back to the center. Repeat on the opposite leg. Notice how you have to maintain weight-bearing on one leg so the other can move freely. If you feel “stuck” while sliding open you may have shifted your body-weight unconsciously.
CoreAlign Version: Single Leg Balance
Stand facing the CA Ladder with hands at the preferred height. Allow the right foot to rest on its cart as you remove the left from its cart, and find you’re standing on one leg. As you begin to press the right cart away from home using arm strength allow the left leg to float behind you / out to the left / or right causing a rotation. Your goal is to organize and integrate the information your body is receiving maintaining some sense of balance and grace.
Blanket Version: Dynamic Single Leg Balance
Stand, single-legged, either on the blanket or on solid for the floor for lease instability. Begin to move the free leg around trying to cause some mild, moderate, or advanced instability. Your single goal is to “not fall.” At any time you may place your foot down or move your arms or twist to stabilize as you practice a dynamic version of balance.
Good balance is less about squeezing, holding, restricting, and more about organizing the information your body and mind are processing simultaneously while integrating it into your experience of life, moment to moment. I hope you’ve enjoyed this thoughtful and embodied exploration of what it means to be balanced, and why upright training is so valuable to an exercise scenario and human-ness in general.