Often times, individuals begin their meditation practice by using the breath as their main object of focus. But I’ve also written about how we can meditate on other senses, such as meditating on sounds, by making note of the different auditory sensations, as well as meditating on vision, like a sky gazing meditation during a sunset, or looking up at the stars on a clear night.
A big theme of this blog is to take awareness that we have cultivated during meditation and apply it to different senses, different experiences, and different actions. In truth, you can take any sense and use it as an object of meditation. And this includes our sense of balance.
I was messing around in my backyard the other day and I discovered a brick and a plank of wood. I laid down the brick on its side and then put the wood on top of it. Then, I stood on top of my new apparatus and tried to maintain my balance.
I became really focused on how difficult it was for me to keep a still posture. And as I became more aware, I noticed the subtleties of my weight shifting across the board. From one side to the other, and back again. I noticed when my feet were closer together it was easier for me to keep my composure, but when they were further apart it became more difficult. I kept experimenting, exploring, and discovering new aspects of my body and muscle control.
It fascinates me how taking our awareness and applying it to something as simple as balance can reveal new complexities about our conscious experience. I usually take my balance for granted. I get up everyday, walk around, and hardly ever think about how my weight is distributed throughout my body or how my body and muscles work together to keep me upright. But this is hugely important for someone who practices yoga, gymnastics, likes to skateboard, or maybe someone who is getting older and more clumsy.
Being more aware of our balance and practicing balance can have health and fitness benefits like:
- Improving muscle control.
- Improving posture.
- Improving blood flow.
It can also strengthen our mind-body connection by:
- Increasing concentration.
- Increasing body awareness.
It’s a really simple and easy thing to practice. It’s not hard to just come up with some kind of “balancing apparatus” and begin playing with it. I personally find it really fun and a good exercise in self-awareness. I recommend giving it a go.
For some reason when I first started thinking about “balancing meditation” I didn’t make the connection that it was in fact a kind of yoga practice. Haha. Either way, this is something I want to keep practicing and integrating into my health routine. Being able to hold my body more still and calmly (and improving my muscle control) seems like a really desirable trait for long-run health and fitness. It also requires an interesting one-pointedness between both mind and body.
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