How Do You Create Balance Between Both Sides Of The Body?

June 4, 2024

Transcript of: How do you create balance between both sides of the body?

Hey everyone! Welcome to this month’s question of the month. I’m David Keil and as you know I answer questions that come from you guys and I answer them every month. All you need to do if you want to submit your own question is go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion and I’ll do the same for you. This month’s question comes from Nandini and it’s about how to create balance between both sides of the body.

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The Question:

“How does one increase balance and evenness across the two sides of the body, especially below the hips? After an injury, my right side is noticeably stronger yet heavier, and takes most of the load in asanas.”

The Answer:

This is a very interesting question. And it’s not the first time that I’ve been asked about maintaining balance between the two sides of the body after an injury. The only thing I’m not clear about based on the question is: “After an injury, my right side is noticeably stronger yet heavier.” I think that’s the injured side. I’m going to assume that based on how the question is written. But I’m not one hundred percent sure on that because sometimes you might think that an injured side is not stronger. But then the “heavier” part might be a semi-common sensation after injury. You know, like the leg feels different or something like that.

Move both sides

Regardless, we can talk about injuries in general, on the right side or on the left side, and just work from there. To support balance, you always want to exercise, move, stretch, etc., both sides of the body equally. Arguably, if your injured side is from an injury that caused atrophy, the muscle gets smaller—let’s say it was in a cast or in a brace and the muscles got smaller and weaker for that reason—then you could make a very good argument for therapeutically increasing the amount of exercise that that side does.

Reciprocity in the nervous system

But, here’s the other thing. There are some interesting relationships that happen in the nervous system. If you were to exercise your right side, your left side would get benefit from exercising your right side. Not in the same amount. If you lift a 20-pound dumbbell with your right biceps, it doesn’t mean that it’s like lifting a 20-pound dumbbell with your left biceps. But, there is nervous system activity there. And there are still, believe it or not, strength increases that happen on that other side.

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So, whenever you get injured, whether it’s the left side, right side, lower half, or upper half, it doesn’t matter. To support balance between both sides of the body, you always try to keep moving the other side. Obviously, if it’s stuck in a cast or a brace, then you don’t need to exercise that side. But after it gets out, you do as much as you can with that side and you maintain the other side. Okay? That is a good general rule across all types of activities and sports. This is known. There’s a reciprocal relationship between the right and the left side when it comes to movement, activity, and restoring balance on both sides of the body.

Okay? I hope that helped a little bit, Nandini. Anyone else, if you’ve got a question, you know what to do. Go to yoganatomy.com/myquestion.