Hello, fellow yogis! We are continuing to move through our alphabet of yoga cues with week. Our next letter is B – for Balance. Read on 🙂
There are many yoga poses that help us improve our balance. Sometimes we balance on our feet, hands, or even our head! Balance offers us physical benefits such as strengthening & elongating our muscles, getting to know our center of gravity and how to align ourselves, along with learning the important yoga principle of rooting down. Mentally, balance helps us to keep our attention focused, how to stay steady in one spot for a while, and how to find an inner center that helps us both on and off the mat.
Here are a few tips to help you balance throughout your practice. Think about how these ideas can apply off your mat as well.
- Starting with either the feet or the hands depending on the pose, widen the fingers or toes and ground or root down into the mat. Ground all 4 corners of the feet into the mat. Lift all the toes at once, feeling the inner and outer edges of the ball of the foot and the heel come in contact with the mat. Release the toes and remain focused on feeling all 4 points of contact throughout all of your standing poses.
- Keep your gaze soft, a few feet in front of you on an object that is not moving.
- Find your balance in poses slowly & consciously. Keep the breath calm, even, and gentle. Try counting to 4 as you breathe into and out of the nose in every pose. Try this breath pattern as you work or drive to remain calm too!
- When needed, use a wall or your hands to gain stability.
- Keep your feet drawing towards each other in poses like Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) or High Crescent Lunge to help with stability. For poses such as cat extensions, spread the fingers wide, press the pads of the fingers & the arm of the palm into the mat. Press the hands away from the body while clawing the fingertips into the mat slightly. Learn more about wrist engagement here: https://buddhababyyoga.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/all-about-our-wrists/
We’d love to hear what helped (or didn’t help!) or even tips we didn’t cover that you always find useful.
Until next time, yogis. Namaste.