Equilibre is the art of balance. Practitioners dedicate their lives and practice for the purpose of controling and dominating their bodies in delicate postures, difficult to master, on one or two arms, or on their heads.
Improving your balance is a difficult matter, developed in a non-linear progression and effected by kinesthetic sense, proprioception, body tension, strength, endurance, and a zen state of mind.
I have started to work on different one arm postures more than a year ago, first on my own and later on with some guidance from other practitioners, trying to research the subject as much as I could, through books, conversations with equilibirists, video analysis and of course practice and lots of it.
Part of the subjects I have researched were:
1. Deep Yoga and meditative practice, (daily) for a better understanding of the 'zonning in' work needed for delicate balance control. I was fortunate enough to have a very radical and good teacher, Dudi Malka, who works with a style of Yoga called 'Shadow Yoga'. It took me a long time and a lot of patience to feel the change happening within me. Flexibility gains were also a nice addition.
2. Straightening of the body line and controling it. In equilibre you aspire to achieve a completely straight line from hand to feet, in the classical positions, in order to achieve an effortless balance, what is often referred to as 'dead-balance' - basicly resting in a completely balanced position with the only effort activated towards holding the body tension (and just enough, not excessivly) and returning to the effortless position, if fallen off it.
Part of my research into this subject went through Pilates and Yoga breathing and tension techniques and of course, Ballet.
3. Scapula control, which is a main problem for many practitioners. Holding the scapula locked in position, and in the right position, is essential, or else all hell breaks loose.
The journey to achieve some kind of control over one arm is an endless one, full of setbacks, problems, despair, but also full of joy, the kind of joy that can only come from small, simple things.
I set out to enjoy this journey on my own, like I do most things in my life, but now, after achieving what I originaly decided to achieve (10 second control on one arm), I am finally going to get some serious outside help.
Tomorrow morning I am traveling to the north of France, to a small village called Saint Die, to a week workshop with Equilibre Master Claude Victoria. I have had the pleasure of training before with two of Claude's students, for brief periods, and now it is time to go to the source.
Claude is an old man nowdays, and he does not recieve any new students anymore, but because I recieved recommendations from two of his students he was willing to recieve me, and for that I am thankfull for him and of course my two good friends and amazing equilibirists - Yuval Ayalon, a generalist in a Vegas Franco Dragone circus show called Le Reve, and Yuval Oz, a very talented musician without whom this trip would not be posible. Thank you guys.
Here is a small clip of a one arm handstand from a recent practice, it is far from perfect, and I am not content with it, but still, it is time to put things out and continue on.
If this journey is of interest to you, please check back here often, as I will try to post my experiences, photos and video clips from another one of my small adventures.