Balancing poses in yoga positively impacts both our physical and mental health. Physically, these poses help us to align ourselves, to strengthen and lengthen our muscles, and explore our center of gravity. The regular practice of balance poses can improve the function of the body’s equilibrium receptors which enable the body to stay balanced. Having a good sense of balance is so much more than just being able to stand on one foot. Apart from physical stability, yoga balance poses also help us find mental and emotional steadiness. Remaining steady and centered in a balancing pose improves focus and helps to relieve stress.
There are several tips to help you balance more easily in yoga poses. First, find a “Drishti”, or not moving spot to gaze at. It’s really challenging to have a still body if your gaze is all over the place, so gazing softly at a non-moving spot is super helpful! It’s suggested you gaze at something on the horizon or in front of you maybe 3 to 5 feet- A speck on the carpet, a chair, or a blade of grass…
Second, think of rooting the standing foot into the earth, not just resting it on your mat or the ground. Really make that connection. Gently pulling the navel in and up to engage the core is also super helpful in balance poses.
Lastly, think of length in the body- crown of the head towards the sky, long limbs…
If in your home don’t be afraid to hold onto a wall or a piece of furniture to help steady yourself until you get the hang of it and it becomes more effortless on your own. And don’t take it too seriously. Surrender a little bit of effort and just have fun with it.
Balance is so important not only for Yogis but everyone, especially as we age. You often hear of stories where an older person falls, breaks a bone, and that’s the beginning of the end. Balance is something that needs to be practiced reulgarly. And as mentioned before, balancing yoga poses are a great way to stay mentally and emotionally strong, especially in difficult situations. This is why balance poses also benefit you outside your yoga mat. They enable you to approach life with patience, calmness, and awareness.