Balance poses are challenging for nearly everyone, and close to impossible for others. We can probably expect this, considering most of us go from lying down, to two feet, to seated, and back to lying.
Balance just isn’t one of those things that we will normally need in a day, like cardiovascular fitness. But, like cardiovascular fitness, it is something that we should all be working towards improving to the best of our abilities! Our health and wellbeing is made up of these small components that show us how functional our bodies are, so remember these tips to help you master your balancing poses in Yoga!
You should ideally have your bodyweight distributed throughout the outer and inner foot, and between the ball and heel of your foot. Bring your awareness into the base of the big toe, the base of the small toe, and the inner and outer heel. Pay attention to where your weight may be causing disturbances, such as your arch rolling inwards and collapsing or the base of the big toe beginning to lift. Begin preparing for balanced in Mountain Pose, rather than in single-leg balances. It might only look like you’re standing there, but if you’re doing it correctly you should be noticing the difference! Once you feel grounded, practice shifting your weight from one foot and into the other – stay present, and watch how your body reacts to this. You will instantly see any habits that you try to revert to that may be causing your imbalance, so remember these in your future practices.
They say to pick a spot in the room which is steady to stare it, as this can help to centre you. This can be difficult when the person in front of you is flailing about, but by finding a focus point and clearing the mind, you’re less prone to distraction and disturbance. Aim to have a quiet mind and remove any pressure or expectation you may have – it is simply up to you to be present, and to complete your practice. Breath calmly and release your thoughts. Bring your awareness to your centre, and allow yourself to just be.
Your pelvis distributes the weight of your torso into your legs, and is the foundation of your spine – therefore weakness in the supporting muscles of the pelvis could contribute to misalignments that may be affecting your balance. The hip abductor muscles hold your pelvis level – to feel the imbalance, try a little experiment yourself. Come into Tree Pose, standing on your right leg with the left foot pressed firmly into the inner thigh – now let the pelvis sway out a little to the right, and watch as your torso begins to lean to the left while your balance becomes unsteady. Now use your right thigh to press into the sole of your left foot, and experience how grounded your pose becomes and how aligned your pose becomes. Pressing the right thigh requires a strong contraction from the right hip abductors as they encircle your balance.
Some poses will ask more from your buttock muscles to stabilise and ground, as well as deep hip rotators, and all of these muscles are important to build overall balance.
Yoga centres and grounds, and is the perfect way to counter any imbalances you may have – either in your Vrksasana or your day-to-day life. The most important lesson to take from Yoga and into your life is to continue learning and growing, because you are never truly done. To find out more about the styles of traditional Yoga that we offer at Kaya Health Clubs, check out the rest of our website or contact our friendly reception team.