Yoga Asanas for BalanceOne of the best ways to start incorporating more balance in your life is to begin practicing yoga poses that require physical balance. All of the following poses require an intentional focus and inner strength. As you practice each pose, focus your drishti (eye gaze) on a non-moving point on the horizon line and keep your breath calm and steady.
- Ardha Chandrasana, also known as Half Moon Pose, is a beautiful asana to practice balance. Stack your hips on and shoulder on top of each other and reach through your extended foot and hand. Work to stay for 3-5 breaths.
- Garudasana, also known as Eagle Pose, requires a steady eye gaze and calm, focused mind. If your shoulders are tight, you can reach for the backs of the shoulder instead of backs of hands.
- Tadasana, also known as Mountain pose, allows us to feel grounded, secure and balanced. Feel both feet rooted into the Earth and you lengthen the spine through the crown of the head. Try closing your eyes for a few breaths!
- Dancer's Pose has many variations, but all require a strong and rooted supporting leg. Take this pose slow and steady.
- Uttita Hasta Padangusthasana, also known as Extended Hand to Big Toe, requires openness through the hamstrings and a strong core. Try keeping your knee bent to start and spine long as you balance on one leg.
- High Lunge is a great transitional yoga pose that opens the hips as well as engages core and leg stability to balance. Try lifting your eye gaze up to the sky to challenge your balance in this pose.
- Vrksasana, also known as tree pose, allows for balance to become light and fluid. In tree pose, it is okay to not be completely still and steady; be like the tree moving in the wind while adapting to the different seasons.
Acknowledge Effort and EaseIn order to cultivate more balance in your life through your yoga practice, it is important to acknowledge both effort and ease. If we are straining in a pose so much that we begin to judge ourselves or hold our breath, we have lost the balance. Yoga teaches us to move with steadiness, not rushing to the finish line. Sometimes finding this balance can feel even harder than the physical movements. As you play with balancing yoga poses, try to show yourself compassion and let go of judgement and perfectionism. Remember that there is a time to hold on and a time to release. Ask yourself, What am I holding on to? What should I let go of? Where can I loosen control? Being aware of these dynamics will help us enjoy a more balanced lifestyle. As Rumi says:
Life is a balance between holding on and letting go. - Rumi
Find Peace Within
When the light comes from within, balance is inevitable. - Amy Jirsa When we create peace and harmony and balance in our minds, we will find it in our lives. - Louise HayUltimately, our minds are the instruments that direct our lives. To find balance externally, we must first create it internally.
Extremes are easy. Strive for balance. Collin WrightThis quote by Colin Wright reminds us not to become too entrenched in a particular practice or belief. During the stressful times in our lives, strive to find the middle ground between indulgence and restraint, celebration and relaxation, service and self-care. Finding balance is a lifelong journey and each day can feel different. Try to practice yoga asanas for balance in a way that brings both effort and ease. Alexa Bull is an Ayurvedic Health Coach, Yoga Teacher and Aromatherapist based in Brooklyn.