Today we are busting balance myths with two people who are passionate about balance and standing stability. Host Rachel talks to Sava Papos, is a long-time yoga teacher and Yoga Medicine Therapeutic Specialist, now immersed in a degree in Exercise and Sport Physiology.
In this episode, we discuss balance as a trainable skill and a key aspect of physical performance, providing advice to teachers and students aiming to make balance practice as applicable to the real world as possible.
Listen in as we talk about finding the right type and level of challenge for everyone, and the importance of being willing to experience instability in order to train better stability.
“While we can practice our balance in a cosy, well lit studio that’s not necessarily going to be the case in the real world where we have different obstacles and surfaces that we’re navigating.” – Sava Papos
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“Balance itself is a skill, it is not an inherent ability that we have.” – Sava Papos
- Why we are passionate about balance training [2:47]
- Myth #1: Balance training is only for the elderly [3:47]
- Myth #2: You either have it or you don’t [10:56]
- How we currently teach balance skills in yoga [14:51]
- Holding an external focus when balancing helps [16:09]
- Myth #3: Doing yoga balance poses is enough [17:42]
- Myth #4: “Good” balance means never wobbling or falling [21:47]
- Myth #5: Balance is all about the core; ankle, hip & step strategies [27:53]
- Playing with key contributors to balance: visual, vestibular & proprioceptive system [35:26]
- Footwear and heel height impacts on stability [44:37]
- The big question: is yoga sufficient balance training? [49:41]
- Our base of support; foot and arm position, prop use [56:41]
- Summing up, more resources [1:01:16]
- Watch this episode on YouTube
- Yoga Medicine Podcast Episode 33: Age Well with Yoga
- YMO Monthly Dose Bullet-Proof Balance
- Research links from Sava Papos:
- DiStefano et al., “Evidence Supporting Balance Training in Healthy Individuals: A Systemic Review”, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, December 2009. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-jscr/pages/articleviewer.aspx?year=2009&issue=12000&article=00041&type=Fulltext&casa_token=4wnZzwAf4TsAAAAA:YuRzitf4-5Kg_acQW1AA-041KcQyoT9-sYVXhGQOXrOtf3YVXKXrTRZuQ6GZZ91EhfkGI-ajY1vdhflMoi1axoLPmQ
- Chiviacowsky et al., “An external focus of attention enhances balance learning in older adults”, Gait & Posture, October 2010. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0966636210002286?casa_token=8vX0hAHEKpoAAAAA:FBBc_QJrbbaShKg9eK2Lo76rRHq_9CVNB6MNSmcDXeC1WfP4EJ6WXiebev24S0VLI2iSNggeokQ
- Heijnen et al., “Falls in young adults: Perceived causes and environmental factors assessed with a daily online survey”, Human Movement Science, April 2016. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0167945715300762?casa_token=K3TTb7d_8fkAAAAA:gFTdJXnxbkRbZguB5LeJZfk_KKULgexd0xVwTk2kE_7FijqwyGRZSFFa8sEuaHIsxkRg4PLh4A
- Ramachandran et al., “Effects of Plyometric Jump Training on Balance Performance in Healthy Participants: A Systematic Review With Meta-Analysis”, Frontiers in Physiology, October 2021. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8564501/
- Yoga Journal Article: 4 Surprising Ways to Use a Yoga Bolster
- Connect with Sava Papos:
“We need to encourage people to be comfortable with instability in training stability, so being comfortable falling.” – Sava Papos