Improve your Balance through Yoga Poses
Are you struggling with balance in yoga?
You are not alone. Maintaining balance is not easy – both on and off the yoga mat.
It is known that we can increase our flexibility with yoga, but did you know you can also increase your balance with yoga?
Yoga is a great tool to increase and challenge your balance and your stability. To achieve balance, we need to be focused both on and off the mat.
How to increase your balance in a yoga class?
- Be rooted;
- Bring your attention to your base a.k.a. on the foundations of the yoga pose;
- Keep your Feet Hip-Width Apart;
- Spread your toes;
- Find your gaze or Drishti in sanskrit – focused gaze – on a non moving point;
- Take your time – move slowly and mindfully betw of the pose or to the next pose;
- Use Support or props – a chair, blocks or a wall (or someone);
- Focus on your breath and move with your breath;
- Bring your attention to your center line – midline;
- Last but not least, be confident. Believe in yourself and in your ability to achieve the pose.
10 Yoga Poses and Exercises for Balance Training
5 Beginners Yoga Balance Poses
- Mountain – Tadasana
- Chair – Utkatasana
- Tree – Vrikshasana
- Lunge – Anjaneyasana
- Standing pigeon – Tada Kapotasana
- Warrior III – Virabhadrasana III
5 Advanced Yoga Balance Poses
- Balancing half-moon – Ardha Chandrasana
- Dancer’s Pose – Natarajasana
- Eagle Pose – Garudasana
- Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose – Utthita Hasta Padangustasana
- Bird of Paradise – Svarga Dvijasana
- Standing splits pose – Urdhva Parasarita Padasana
A simple yoga pose that is great to challenge and strengthen our balance is the tree pose or Vrksasana. There are numerous variations of tree pose.
Yoga Pose Challenge
Tree pose (Vrksasana) with eyes closed
- Place your feet firmly on the ground, hip-width apart.
- Carry the body weight on one leg.
- Slowly, bring the other foot to rest on the thigh, on the ankle or below the knee Note: the higher the foot, the more difficult it will be to achieve balance.
- Fix a point in front of you and maintain your balance.
- With one breath, bring the arms in prayer to the heart or in prayer to heaven.
- When in balance, close your eyes for a few breaths.
- When exhaling, bring the arms and leg back to the starting position.
- Repeat on the other side.
Tree Pose Variations to Explore
- Hand(s) on a chair or on the wall
- Foot on Floor
- Foot on calf
- Foot on thigh
- Arm variations – Anjali, Padme mudra; branches
- Foot on rolled yoga mat
- Foot on block
Here is a yoga flow that offers yoga poses that will gently challenge your balance and test your stability. So unroll your yoga mat and join me.