Balance Your Life by Closing Your Eyes

yogini shown from behind doing tree pose balance on a rooftop with skyline in background

Many people overlook the crucial relationship between balance and vision, assuming these functions operate independently. However, vision plays a significant role in maintaining inner and outer balance by providing the brain with critical information about our surroundings. This visual input helps us understand our position in space, adjust our posture, and coordinate movements to prevent falls. Without proper visual cues, we can experience disorientation and instability, highlighting the importance of eye health in overall balance and stability.

In my recent interview with certified yoga therapist and functional health Debi Robinson we delve into the fascinating connection between balance and vision, looking from different perspectives.

Debi’s journey into this field was prompted by a hip replacement at the young age of 50, which led her to explore everything about bone health, mobility, strength and balance.

The Connection Between Vision and Balance

Balance is a critical aspect of our lives, influenced by three main systems:

  1. Musculoskeletal System: Includes nerves, muscles, and joints, helping maintain posture and stability.
  2. Vestibular System: Located in the inner ear, it controls your sense of head position and movement.
  3. Visual System: Your eyes provide essential visual cues necessary for maintaining balance.

The Role of Yoga in Enhancing Balance
Yoga is a powerful practice for improving physical balance. Postures like tree pose (standing on one leg) strengthen muscles and improve proprioception—the body’s ability to sense its position in space. Debi emphasizes the importance of finding a focal point, or drishti, to enhance stability during these poses. Once balance can be obtained using a drishti, explore closing your eyes. That makes balance much more challenging and is a great way to improve your balance skills.

The Challenge and Benefits of Closing Your Eyes
Practicing balance with closed eyes is significantly more challenging because your body relies more heavily on the other two systems. Debi advises beginners to start by closing one eye or using a nearby wall for support. This practice helps develop a deeper sense of body awareness and internal balance.

Beyond Physical Balance: Emotional and Mental Well-being

In today’s fast-paced world, achieving emotional and mental balance is crucial. Practicing mindfulness and meditation can help you attain inner peace. Debi suggests limiting exposure to distressing news and media to reduce sensory overload and maintain a calm, balanced state of mind.

Practical Tips for Better Balance

  1. Strengthen Your Feet: Keep your feet flexible and strong with exercises like bending your toes and standing on one leg.
  2. Use Props: Incorporate chairs or walls in your yoga practice to safely challenge your balance.
  3. Engage in Regular Exercise: Consistent physical activity is key to maintaining strong bones and muscles.

The Importance of Gut Health for Balance
A healthy gut microbiome is essential for overall wellness, including bone health, which in turn affects your balance. Debi highlights the link between gut health and inflammation, noting that inflammation can lead to various diseases, including osteoporosis. Foods rich in probiotics and prebiotics, such as fermented vegetables and root vegetables, support a healthy gut, which is vital for maintaining balance.

Foods to Avoid for Better Balance
Certain foods can be detrimental to bone health and, consequently, balance. Debi advises avoiding:

  • Gluten: It can contribute to gut inflammation, impacting balance.
  • Dairy: Contrary to popular belief, high dairy consumption is linked to higher fracture rates, affecting balance.
  • Sugar: It’s inflammatory and should be limited to maintain balance.

Foods to Embrace for Optimal Balance
Focus on nutrient-dense foods that support bone health and balance:

  • Leafy Greens: Rich in calcium and other essential nutrients that support balance.
  • Seeds and Nuts: Powerhouses of vitamins and minerals necessary for balance.
  • Seasonal Vegetables: Support gut health and overall well-being, contributing to better balance.

The Long-Term Benefits of Improved Balance
Incorporating these habits will not only improve your balance but also enhance your overall health. Remember, small, consistent actions lead to significant results over time. Whether through yoga, mindful eating, or reducing sensory overload, these practices can transform your life and improve your balance.

Watch the whole episode

Debi Robinson is a certified Yoga Therapist, Functional Health Coach, and Bone Health Expert. She is an instructor at Torrance Memorial Medical Center, a mentor for the Yoga Therapy Program at Loyola Marymount University, and a sought-after speaker. With over 20 years of experience coaching women through osteoporosis, Debi empowers women to take control of their bone health through personalized coaching programs.

Connect with Debi: Debi’s Website

Claudia Muehlenweg has helped thousands of people enhance their natural eyesight and overall well-being. She is deeply passionate about reconnecting clients with their purpose, confidence, and freedom.
Filed in: Lifestyle & Food
Tagged with: balance, bone health, gut health, yoga

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