Moving into Balance

Our Olympic team inspire us all. We marvel at human beings spinning through the air, speeding down the track or stroking through water. Our hearts lift as athletes seemingly defy gravity. Talent and training make possible these feats of strength and stamina. Balance shows up too in a courageous gymnast sitting out, a compassionate runner waiting for a competitor to finish, and two cheering winners from different countries sharing the gold.

Just as emotional poise enhances the experience of the Olympic Games; we can welcome it here in our lives. The concerns arising as schools re-open and the delta variant surges make composure a challenge, and that’s where support comes in. Let’s see how we can find balance through focus on the somatic, spatial, and spiritual: each of these intertwines with the others. Balance in the body boosts our capacity to move. Centering in space around us buffers our bodies. Openness in our heart broadens our interests, and expands our horizons.

We can become unbalanced and stiff if we sit still overlong. Moving side to side, bottom to top, and front to back can invigorate: so, take a few “moving moments” with me. Ready?

First, take a deep breath and place your feet flat on the floor. Feel your feet touching the floor, and by extension touching the Earth. Next, move side to side to side and find the mid-point. Now rest. Breathe. Put your hands on your knees and lightly press down, connecting your lower body to your upper body. Breathe. Sit back, align your shoulders over your hips. Take another deep breath, feeling the enlivened centered-ness in these few steps.

Your body is more in balance now: if you stand up, you can do so more readily because your joints are better lubricated. Imagine how these three movements: sideways, up and back – all lead to the center.

When you know where you are in your own body, you can, with more ease, center among objects, other people, other creatures and plants around you. Knowing where you are in space keeps you from bumping into objects, or into others. Spatial balance can help keep you steady even when that which is happening around you seems topsy-turvy.

When you feel centered in your body and in your surroundings, you have more freedom to move. Your heart can open up when your body and the space around you are well supported. Your horizon expands as movements spread out.

May Alonzo King bring together social justice and dance for you, as he did for me in the PBS “Canvas” video “Movement and Life” .

Ana Lisa de Jong calls us into balance with her poem “Circling”