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Exercise of the Month: Exploring the Fascial Movement and ZEN•GA® Expand and Yield Variables through balance exercises

For January’s Exercise of the Month, Master Instructor Trainer Kim Kraushar focuses on how you can help your clients feel more confident during balance exercises.

In this video, she explores two balance movements— starfish balance and figure-four balance— through the Merrithew® Fascial Movement Expand Variable and the ZEN•GA® Mindful Movement Yield Variable.

Both of these variables are inspired by two concepts:

  • The relationship between our body parts, gravity and the surface that supports us
  • Tensegrity, the concept of seeing the whole body as part of an integrated system. By using tensegrity-inspired imagery cueing, she’ll help you tap into your fascial architecture with an appropriate amount of tension to create a more balanced and energy-efficient approach to the movements


Starfish balance:

It’s common for a client to tense up as soon as they’re asked to do a balance exercise. If it’s a standing exercise, they’ll often focus their attention entirely on the foot and floor, tensing in that area.

Instead, Kim says you should encourage the client to integrate their whole body into the exercise, cueing them to think about the center of the action— their core— and how energy radiates up from the floor and down from the naval into their standing leg during every inhale and exhale, creating a full-body support system.

Then cue them to add in the spine, reaching up through the crown of the head, and out through their arms spread like a starfish. As they inhale, cue them to energetically expand all four limbs outwards and the spine upwards, and as they exhale, to condense the body, drawing the limbs in close.

Figure-four balance:

In this position, the client should feel a gentle pull through the adductors and a spreading sensation through their sit bones as they squat backwards. There should be a gentle pulling sensation from sit bone to sit bone, and tension on the outside of the hips. This ‘architecture of tension’ creates a feeling of stability, support and equilibrium.

By emphasizing cueing that creates a deeper mind-body connection, the client should feel a greater sense of control and full-body support in these balance positions. Give it a try!

Find more videos to elevate and enhance your training and education on Merrithew Connect >

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