When you walk into my studio you see a poster that says “Gravity. It isn’t just a good idea. It’s the law.”
We can’t have a discussion about balance without talking about gravity. “In physics, gravity is the natural force that causes things to fall toward the earth” (Vocabulary.com).
The force of ground pushes back up against the force that is pushing us toward the center of the earth. Hopefully, those two forces (gravity and force of ground) are equal, enabling us to be upright. We can be walking, running, swimming, or reaching. We are constantly balancing, and perpetually influenced by gravity.
Balance is defined as “an even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady. A condition in which different elements are equal or in correct proportions.” (Dictionary.com)
Gravity is always there, whatever we do, wherever we go. We are dependent on gravity for all movement, and thus, balancing. It allows us to move through space without floating away. Leonardo da Vinci said, “motion is created by the destruction of balance, for nothing can move by itself which does not leave its state of balance, and that thing moves most rapidly which is furthest from its balance.”
Is gravity the enemy? Not really, it just is. As my poster so artistically reminds us, it is the law. We can fight it, but we won’t win. However, we can be sensible about it. What is our first line of defense against gravity? You may be either standing or sitting right now. What do you feel on the ground? The correct answer is… your feet. Our inquiry into balancing leads us on many journeys. We can explore our back, neck, knee, or shoulder pain and find a place where we might be “out of balance.” We will start this tour, however, at the base, at our feet.
Our feet are our first line of defense when we are balancing. Did you know that there are 26 bones in our feet? They are designed to work in perfect harmony, managing many forces. They carry our weight. They traverse over every surface. They undergo much wear and tear. We often don’t pay attention to our feet, unless they hurt. We wear less than optimal shoes or we hold our feet the same way in any kind of shoe. We twist them. We scrunch them. We step on hot or cold surfaces. Sometimes the nerves to our feet or toes fail us.
I have worked with people with foot pain for many years. People come to me with plantar fasciitis, sprained or broken ankles, neuromas, or peripheral neuropathy. Often when clients come with low back pain, we search and find that it is due to standing or holding habits on their feet.
Should we continue to ignore our feet when we are talking about balancing in our environment, on the earth, or in our lives in general? I think not.
Starting February 4th, I will be holding a 5 Day Challenge to Better Balance on our Feet. It is free, online, and you can participate from the comfort of your own home. You will learn at your own pace. Each session will take 10 to 15 minutes. You can do it in your jammies. We will communicate in my Facebook group, Baby Boomers Reinvented. We will also have two live calls to talk about what you find and answer questions.
Join the free 5 Day Challenge to Better Balance on Your Feet by clicking on the link.
See you soon.