I have been juggling since I was ten years old. I picked up my dad’s copy of Juggling for the Complete Klutz and learned in about an hour – which led to me finding a teacher, and buying books and new props, and eventually it became one of the characteristics of myself that I identify with most.
Juggling has been shown to be great for flexing your brain and building gray matter, and let me tell you, it is relaxing. I keep a set of at least three props wherever I am just to pick up when I need to take a minute to myself, and my friends will tell you that I have a serious habit of playing with any anything that gets put into my hands. As I have gotten more into new tricks and techniques of juggling, I have realized that my juggling posture and form is far from perfect, and it is definitely something I can work on.
When I was still learning new tricks and growing into juggling with four and five balls, my friends and I discovered that because we had to focus so intently on juggling, our bodies reverted to what we described as autopilot position – our feet would become parallel to each other, our backs would straighten, and our jaws would even hang slightly open.
Below are some videos of myself juggling. The first is of me juggling three balls, and the others are of me juggling four and five.
If you look at the first one, you can see that when juggling three balls, I am comfortable enough that I am standing the way I usually do – slightly leaning back, which my pelvis tucked and my head pretty forward. I have become comfortable enough when juggling three balls that my brain isn’t distracted enough on the act of juggling to let my body go into autopilot.
Now look at the videos of me juggling four and five – my head is aligned better towards my back instead of my front, my feet are square, and my back is less tilted than usual. While some of this can be attributed to the fact that I have to look a little higher than when juggling three, the rest is clearly because I am having to work harder on concentrating on juggling, so my body goes into autopilot and aligns itself the way that is most efficient for the activity. My right side is also dipped lower than my left, because I am right-handed – I’m trying to break that habit.
If I can consciously bring myself to align the way my body does when I’m not thinking about it, I think I’ll be in pretty good shape. More juggling and general circus activity to come.