Everyone wants balance in their life irrespective of whatever they do. But, the balance needs concentration, intention and the ability to hold on and go on. The ability to maintain balance prevents injury, improves dynamic joint stabilization, relieves stress and improves your focus. Body balance can be improved through practice of simple yoga postures which you can do anytime, anywhere.
Before we move into the postures and how to practise it, let’s keep some tips in mind:
- For beginners, easy yoga poses would look difficult and impossible at first. Make sure you have a wall or chair nearby to support your body in case you fall.
- Take your own time. Move into each pose slowly and keep aware of what your entire body is doing. Please understand that Yoga is a journey and not a destination. Never force your body.
- Work on each pose from the ground up: Start with aligning your feet, then legs, torso, arms and head.
- Keep your mind relaxed and focus on breathing. Slowly and steadily with the practice, you will regain flexibility. Keep it up!
Now, let’s start the practice with top 7 yoga postures to improve balance. Ready with your mat!
- Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
A perfect posture to improve your balance and strengthen your back and legs.
- Place your right foot high up on your left thigh. The sole of the foot should be flat and placed firmly. Keep your left leg straight and find balance.
- While inhaling raise your arms over your head and bring your palms together.
- Ensure that your spine is straight and take few deep breaths.
- Slowly exhale and bring your hands down and release your right leg.
- Repeat the same procedure with the other leg.
- Eagle pose (Garudasana)
This pose stretches the shoulders and upper back while strengthening the thighs, hips, ankles, and calves. It builds balance, calm mind, and improves concentration. Do not practice this asana if you have a recent knee, ankle or elbow injury.
- Stand straight on both feet. Then, Raise the right leg and wrap it around the left leg
- The right thigh should be over the left thigh and the right feet will touch the calf muscles from behind.
- Similarly, wrap the right hand around the left hand.
- Now place the palms together to resemble the beak of an eagle.
- Try to maintain the balance and remain in this pose for as long as you can maintain the balance.
- Concentrate on balancing the body pose and then come back to the original position.
- Relax for few seconds and repeat the same procedure.
- Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
This pose is an active pose that strengthens the ankles and legs, tones the muscles of the abdomen, and offers a stretch through the chest, shoulders and hamstrings. This pose also helps to improve balance and coordination.
- From Mountain pose, step the right foot a foot length forward and shift all of your weight onto this leg.
- While Inhaling raise the arms over your head and interlace the fingers, pointing the index finger up.
- As you exhale, lift the left leg up and out, hinging at the hips to lower the arms and torso down towards the floor.
- Look down at the floor and stare at a point for maintaining balance. Reach out through the left toes and the crown and fingers making one straight line.
- Breathe and hold for few breaths.
- Come back to the mountain pose, relax and repeat on the other side.
- Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose (Utthita Hasta Padangustana)
This yoga pose helps in stretching the hamstrings to make it flexible and prepare it for the other poses. It strengthens your ankles and legs along with that it stretches the backs of your legs and beneficial for your nervous system.
- First, stand in the Mountain Pose or Tadasana and let your arms out to either side of your body, with your feet placed firmly on the ground
- Lift your left leg and bend it at the knee till it touches your abdomen
- Now let your left-hand slide down the inner thigh and hold the other part of your foot.
- Bring your outer thigh towards the inside as you now tighten the muscles of the right thigh.
- As you continue to grasp your left foot allow it to extend it forward and straighten as much as possible.
- Maintain your balance and slowly swing the left foot to the side. Continue to breathe normally in this position.
- Stay in this posture for around 30 seconds and then slowly inhale and bring the leg to the front again and place it on the floor.
- Repeat the same procedure with right foot.
- Crow Pose(Bakasana)
This pose strengthens the upper arms, forearms, and wrists. It tones and strengthens the abdominal muscles and the organs of the torso while stretching the upper back and groins. This pose also improves balance and full-body coordination.
Beginners must use a pile of blankets or a pillow in front of them to protect them in case they fall forward.
- First, stand in the Mountain Pose or Tadasana with your arms at your sides. Step your feet about as wide as your mat.
- Bend your knees and lower your hips, coming into a squat. Separate your thighs so they are slightly wider than your torso, but keep your feet as close together as possible.
- Drop your torso slightly forward and bring your upper arms to the inside of your knees. Press your elbows along the inside of your knees.
- Bring your palms to the mat, keeping them about shoulder-distance apart. Spread your fingers and press firmly to the ground.
- Press your shins against the back of your upper arms. Draw your knees in as close to your underarms as possible.
- Lift onto the balls of your feet as you lean forward. Round your back and draw your abdominal muscles in firmly. Keep your tailbone tucked in toward your heels.
- Look at the floor between your hands or at a point even more forward, if possible.
- As you continue to lean forward, lift your feet off the floor and draw your heels toward your buttocks. If it’s difficult to lift both feet at the same time, try lifting one foot and then the other. Balance your torso and legs on the back of your upper arms.
- Keep pressing evenly across your palms and fingers, then begin to straighten your elbows. Keep your knees and shins hugging in tightly toward your armpits. Keep your forearms drawn firmly toward the midline of your body.
- Touch your big toes together. Draw your belly in. Breathe steadily.
- Hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable. Then release and repeat it for 3-4 times.
- Lord of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana)
This pose helps to Strengthens legs hips, ankles and chest. It Stretches the thighs, groin, and abdominal organs release stress and calm the mind. Moreover, it is good for improving concentration. Those suffering from low blood pressure should not practice this asana.
- Stand straight on your yoga mat and arms by your sides.
- While inhaling bend your right leg backwards and hold with your right ankle with the right hand.
- Try to move your right leg upwards as much as you can.
- Extend your left arm straight out in front. Hold this posture for 20 to 30 seconds and keep breathing normally. Now slowly come back to starting position.
- Repeat this with another leg and practice for 3 to 4 repetitions.
- Tiptoe Pose (Padangushthasana)
This Pose remedies flat feet and improves strength and flexibility in the toes, ankles, knees, hips and thighs. It also improves physical balance, mental focus and concentration.
Tiptoe pose looks simple but it requires strong toes and ankles and flexibility in the knees and hips It is an advanced version of yoga pose and it should be practised under the guidance of an instructor. If you have any lower back or neck injuries or pain, this pose is not advisable.
- Sit in a squatting position. Lift the heels up and sit on your toes. Adjust the left heel so that it is directly under the perineum.
- Place the right hand on the floor by the side of the right thigh for support. With the left hand lift the right foot up and place the top of the foot on the left thigh. The sole of the right foot should be facing up.
- If you find it hard to place the foot on the opposite thigh, you may want to rest your back against a wall for support (For Beginners). The support will allow you to put the foot on top of the opposite thigh without losing balance and falling down.
- Once the right foot is in place on top of the thigh, you can place the left hand also on the floor on the side of the left thigh for additional support
- When you find yourself comfortable enough in this position, you may attempt to bring the palms together in a prayer position at the heart centre.
- Maintain this position for few seconds, relax and repeat on the other side.
Balancing posture are sometimes challenging and practitioners feel frustrated with the practice. But, with the regular practice, the postures look awesome and you will enjoy your practice.
“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great” –