We found an article that helps explain the importance of balance, a concept we have been trying to impress upon our students for years. Not just balance, meaning doing the same muscular activity on both sides of the body, but also by creating balanced neuro-muscular patterns and balanced sensory perception.
By the way, symmetry does not equal balance (more on that in another post soon to come). But it is important to create balance in the body. Repetitive muscular activity creates a neuro-muscular pattern. In other words, when you practice a particular movement over and over you establish a communication between the brain and muscles responsible for executing that move. A SmarterYoga practice that utilizes sequences that repeat on both sides can reveal imbalances in one’s ability to execute a particular move on one side vs. the other. In yoga it is particularly relevant to the concept of balance to also not start every practice or sequence on the same side of the body. Learn to initiate movement with the foot you wouldn’t normally.
Imbalances must be properly addressed to ensure that you are moving with each side of your body and each half of your brain communicating effectively to avoid injury or performance issues. Don’t believe us? Read the article’s abstract in this link. Runners, you’ll find this particularly interesting.