Prevent Falls - Develop Your Sixth Sense
Proprioception has become the new buzz word in yoga. Think of balance, but more. Here's this: imagine you are reaching for your drink in a dark movie theater and bringing it to your lips. You don't need to look to do it. Now, think of safely making your way down the steps to go towards the bathroom in a dark movie theater - much more difficult. That's when you really want your proprioceptive skills to kick in - your sixth sense.
Biologist Seung-Hyun Woo at the Scripps Institute defines proprioception:
“Proprioception is the sense of your body parts’ position”.
The Scripps Institute is helping us understand how this sixth sense works and when it gets inhibited. You can read more about it this article from The Atlantic.
Why do you need a sixth sense?
Proprioception keeps us from falling.
FALLING CAN KILL.
The Center for Disease Control tells us that "One out of three people age 65 and older falls each year, and 20,400 people in that age group were killed in falls in 2009." You can read more of their research here.
There are countless practices that will activate your ability to sustain proprioception. Though it decreases with age, you can preserve your abilities and slow your progression with strength building and other physical activities.
"The more active you are, [the more] you can slow that process".
The Tightrope Walk
In a hallway, stand near a wall for potential support and pretend you are walking on a tightrope by putting one foot in front of the other as you walk slowly in a straight line.
Waiting Line Balance
Whenever you are in a line waiting, alternately switch your weight from one foot to the other.
Short Yoga Practices
Balance practices in yoga offer opportunities for enhancing proprioceptive skills. You can find short practices on this site. Click here to practice them. Below is one of my favorites.
You'll find - practice is not perfect.
BALANCE YOGA PRACTICE