One of the first things I always notice, when teaching someone how to use a balance board or wobble board for the first time, is the change in their breathing.
It’s usually because a fear factor has come into the equation and they are afraid of falling. This is when the body’s unconscious mechanisms take over.
One of the first things our body does when our fight or flight response is triggered, is to start breathing shallower and quicker. This is designed to help us respond faster to the stimulus and get away from the potential danger.
This may help us to run away from an escaped tiger, but if we are surfing, snowboarding or attempting a one legged jump squat on a balance board, we are more than likely going to fall off.
I taught my clients to firstly become aware of their breathing, while they were balancing on the board and then to focus on their breathing pattern. By slowing this down and breathing as deeply as possible, they found the rest of their body relaxed around their centre of gravity.
With their limbs loose and relaxed, they had much more control and awareness over their movement and were able to respond to changes in direction or stability much faster, while maintaining their balance.
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