What is Balance?

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In balance
In Balance

Out of balance

Out of balance

These are just a few of the many comments we have gotten from Balance students.
Balance works. Come to a Intro class to see for yourself.

I have been a student of yoga since 1994 and have enjoyed many benefits. I was never injured but my lower back was usually in some pain after class or practice. This was nothing that a couple of Advils wouldn't ake care of but was an indication that I was stressing my lower back in my practice. I have attended many yoga workshops with nationally known yoga teachers and have taken classes with many Iyengar certified and other well-trained teachers, but until I met Jean Couch, no one ever suggested a practical solution for my problem.

The workshop I attended at the Balance Center was not a yoga workshop but a posture workshop. With the increased body awareness I obtained from Jean's workshop, I was chagrinned to discover my own posture was drastically out of balance. In particular, I saw that I tend to lean forward when I stand, that my back is usually arched and my ribcage raised when I thought it was straight. This "military" posture is really rough on the mid-back. Jean points out that our western posture habits create very short hamstrings and an unhealthy spine. Many people taking up yoga tend to bend at the waist rather than the hips in forward bends further stressing the spine and leading to injury. Jean's posture classes emphasize body awareness and sitting, standing, walking and lifting "in balance." Jean and a few other instuctors at the Balance Center also teach "yoga in balance" classes that help the students learn how to do yoga poses in a way that is biomechanically sound

My back is never sore after these. While at first glance my poses don't seem as deep as they did when I bent whatever I could to get my hand on my toe or whatever, I have seen more progress in hip opening after 5 or 6 weeks of Balance Center yoga classes than I experienced in the previous 4 years of other classes. I now use Jean's suggestions in other classes as well. Now I feel the poses much more in my big muscles and much less in my back. I don't use the Advils anymore.
--D.E., Patent Attorney

The evening prior to my first Balance session, I attended a concert. I could barely sit through it due to chronic neck pain and shoulder tension. At intermission I needed to walk around for relief. The next day, after attending my first Balance session, I went to a concert in the same theater. I was so much more comfortable that I didn't even get up at intermission, but read a book instead.
--B.J., piano teacher

I am a piano teacher and performer. Balance has dramatically affected my effectiveness with my students at the piano. I am able to help pianists of all ages solve physical and musical obstacles using the principles of Balance. Balance has given me new insight and it really works.
--S.B., piano teacher

The results I experienced from the Foundations class were phenomenal. I now can sit or stand comfortably for extended periods of time, usually with no pain at all. Also, I can sit comfortably at my office throughout the day - what a relief.
--J.S., real estate agent

I really enjoyed your class. It changed my life from one of discomfort and stress to relaxation and enjoyment in walking.

I know how to get out of pain so it never builds up. This is after 30 years of pain.

Practicing Balance has made sports like skiing and rollerblading a lot more fun. I feel more stable, sure-footed and confident so I'm willing to push the envelope mentally and physically. It can be exhilarating.
--S.L., student

I went to the Balance Center Workshop in Palo Alto last Saturday and I think it is the best hour and 45 minutes I could have spent. We learned how to sit and stand and walk. I doubled my walking speed and my neck feels so much better!
I highly recommend this to anyone who has an opportunity to go.
--C.J.H., writer

What an amazing compilation of guidelines that effectively undo the habits of weight distribution (sitting, standing, walking, carrying, writing, etc.) and body tension that have induced and propagated my pain for over a decade.
--P.R., PhD, educational specialist

For the first time in many years I have been able to wear "regular" (non-orthopedic) shoes with little or no pain in my ankles and arches. This is a direct result of my work in Balance and especially the Walking and Foot Workshops.
--C.D., computer programmer

As a result of this series I feel more grounded. My posture is much more comfortable and relaxed. Letting go to gravity in my posture is helping me to let go in other significant ways in my life.
--D.T., yoga teacher

I wanted to thank you and my Foundations class teachers for helping me so much. I am mostly pain free these days and I am thinking of returning to work full time for the first time in nearly a year.

I just wanted to thank you again for your Foundations of Balance course. I truly feel I have a strong grasp of the foundation of Balance and find myself increasingly excited on a daily basis with my personal progress. It is a life changing opportunity for me.
--H.D., manager/administrator

I helped with a garage sale a few weeks ago. I loaded and unloaded my van three times and drove to Campbell three days in a row. Before taking the Foundations Course I could never have done this, let alone pain free. Thank you! Thank you!
--J.S., painter

I owe you a huge thank you regarding Balance and changed lifestyle. Your approach is logical, slow, patient and an encouragement to "stick with it"! Who would have believed after struggling for years with sleep and position that a few simple moves and more pillows were the answer for me. I was skeptical at first but now I can say this has really worked for me!
--L.O., retail owner

Something comes over me when I take a Balance class. It is as if my body is in bliss. My body loves Balance. I am remembering that to strengthen muscles they have to be relaxed.
--M.K.B., Marriage Family Therapist

It has been two years since I took your series of seminars on correct posture. For this time I have been almost completely free of any form of back pain. Your classes certainly were of enormous benefit to me. I really appreciate the work my chiropractors did and yet I am not sorry that I have not needed them for the past two years and for that I am thankful. Do keep up the good work that you are doing.
--H.S.J., consultant

For 25 years I suffered with recurrent back problems which really limited my physical activities. Since learning Jean's body balancing techniques I've had virtually no problems and can confidently participate in strenuous activities again. I highly recommend her course.
--T.F., professional consultant

Thanks for a fun, brilliant and life-changing workshop.
--T.V., yoga teacher

You've made me a crusader. The Foundations class was absolutely wonderful. Prior to Balance I wasn't even aware of how much my back pain was affecting my life. Aging is definitely something we don't do well in this country, physically or emotionally. Think how much harder your trip would have been out of Balance.
--M.S., consultant

After taking the Intro class and the Foundation series the result is balanced walking, easier sleeping, relaxed sitting and much more. My cello playing is easier and more expressive through letting go of tensions in the belly. There is more of my energy left to play rather than holding myself in. I feel that I have made more good bodily structural changes in the last year than almost any year previous. Particularly since I am now eighty-one years old, that seems amazing to me. Thank you all.
--R.Y.G., retired cellist, San Francisco Symphony

Since taking Balance I've been doing a daily exercise routine and recently began modeling for art classes again after an 8 year hiatus. Yesterday in a class at Notre Dame I did a 30-minute standing pose with no discomfort. I attribute this directly to body Balance. Thank you enormously for your wonderful work!
--K.D., artist

I love the pebble-in-the-pond effect: the more balanced my body, the more balanced my mind, emotions, diet and well, life.
--M.C., legal consultant

I am happy to report that I spent 6 comfortable hours on a pint-sized children's chair at a staff meeting to plan for the coming year. While my colleagues crossed and uncrossed legs, slumped over the table, lay on the floor, I relaxed contentedly in my chair. Thank you for helping me make this small significant step.
--S.S., preschool teacher

Balance has been good to me. I played hard all last year without injury and that got me a scholarship at Menlo College!
--E.P., student

I relish the heightened awareness of everyday movement I gained in the class and feel both inspired by your example and informed by your instruction.
--J.S., yoga teacher, ecologist

I used to have a great deal of pain in my hip joint, which was noticeable, when I pressed on my thighs. I have had this pain for many years and took it for normal. It wasn't until I started standing in Balance for about a week that I realized this pain, too is gone! Balance has changed my life. For example, I used to dread standing anywhere - at a party, while singing, even in line at a grocery store because it would be painful. Now, I actually look forward to the opportunity because I know I can "practice" standing in Balance and guess what? When I stand in Balance I am pain free!
--K.B., administrator

Other than the initial treatment I received for a herniated disk, Balance training has made the biggest difference and has enabled me to sit and drive without pain.
--M.M., mom, home-schooler

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed the series of classes. I looked forward to Monday nights and I believe I learned a tremendous amount of good posture and Balance. I find that the few simple things that I learned at class and am able to put into practice have greatly reduced the strain and pain in my lower back.
--W.F.W., lawyer

After learning to sit forward on the chair in a balanced way, I can meditate for 20 minutes or more with no back support and my back feels completely relaxed. My whole body feels like it is floating and it enables me to really focus on my meditation instead of my discomfort.
--D.D., yoga teacher

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  I've tried almost all there is to try, and Balance has taught me how to take care of my own back, rather than spending tons of money.
Clyde Lerner
Computer consultant