In this program we will look at the basic exercises for building balance. Of all of the various movement practices, I feel that balance has something that is quite fundamentally important, and should definitely be a (semi) regular part of any physical cultivation practice. It can be extremely demanding or very relaxing depending on which exercises you use.
This program is easily scalable simply by using the same exercises on a wider and lower balancing surface. My usual approach for total beginners is to get them doing the walking, standing and squatting drills on a low large log, and get them doing the entry and exit on a rail of the size shown in the clip. This way they get a good dose of all the practices without being limited to doing only the entry practice.
What is not shown in the program (although it is mentioned in the audio) is the free play aspect that I get everyone to do as soon as possible. This means just spending time playing with balance however you can, with no particular skills or drills. Just spending time on balance is an auspicous and worthwhile use of your time!
For advanced students, the step after this program (once you can easily and freely do all the drills shown) is to take the practice higher and to different surfaces. Particular trees and playgrounds both offer plenty of high balancing areas. Of course, proceed at your own risk, a fall from height can be devastating for someone not well trained in breakfall.
I am a teacher (and student!) of the Daoist tradition known as Ba Men Da Xuan. I also teach a self-created collection of physical practices that were born out of my tinkering with the various methods I have trained in, which I call ‘Hammer’s Anvil’ (Hammer is one of my nicknames. Mallett…Hammer…get it??! :)).
Many of the courses found on this page bear the Aware Relaxed Connected or Physical Alchemy logo and website. ARC was the original name of my solo explorations, and from 2017 - 2018 I was joined with Dave Wardman under the banner Physical Alchemy (a banner which this site shared for a time). ARC no longer exists and Physical Alchemy has returned to being just Dave; I am now back to rolling solo - this time without a particular brand name, just me :)