One of the key benefits of doing yoga is improving one’s balance. Yoga helps you develop your coordination and awareness so that you may enhance the way your body transitions.
Having a good balance is not just important for doing exercises or working out, it’s so vital in our everyday lives.
Whether you’re just standing on the sidewalk or crossing the street, you’d need certain motor skills to work so you can move your body with ease, without falling or obtaining any injuries.
In this article, we give you 8 yoga poses to improve your balance. This is good for beginners especially who want to work on their mind and body coordination.
Why Is Balance Important?
In a lot of exercises, professionals often work on improving balance from the get-go.
This is because certain skills are essential in other workouts and pose executions. Your muscles would have to work together as one, making you more aware of your movements. Additionally, this also challenges your mental state. Awareness of your surroundings and physical condition helps you get grounded and stable.
Balance is important in our everyday lives as it is integrated into almost all of our daily activities. Even in the simplest of movements, such as walking, you’d need good balance to prevent you from tripping or falling.
Having balance means that your body is able to find its center for support. When you’re body is moving, your weight also shifts. For others, this can be a smooth transition as their bodies are already well coordinated, but it can be challenging for some.
In early childhood, balance is one of the first things we establish. This determines how the body will adjust to basic motor skills such as standing, walking, and running. The faster the child learns how to balance themselves on their own, the quicker they will progress to learning other skills.
As we grow older, keeping our balance gets tougher. Particularly as our body is not as well coordinated, and our bones and muscles are not as strong as they used to be. That’s why it is vital to train our bodies and improve them while we still can.
Luckily, there are several ways how you can develop your balance, just by exercising. One of the best ways is YOGA of course!
Here are 8 different yoga poses to improve your balance:
Tree pose (Vrksasana)
Starting with the tree pose, this is something that is taught in almost every yoga class. It is one of the most classic yoga poses to improve your balance, posture, and focus.
- To execute the pose, start by standing on your mat. Feet on the ground, parallel to the hips.
- Gently place the sole of the right foot towards the ankle of the left foot. Make sure that your right knee is facing outwards.
- To keep your body more grounded, place both hands on your hips. Your left quad should be constantly engaged as you firm down on your left heel. Gently inhale and exhale in the process.
- Then, once your foundation is strong, you can slowly raise your right foot to your calf, above your knee, and to the inseam of your thigh.
- Slowly raise both your arms over your head.
- Keep breathing. Hold the position for 30 seconds.
- Slowly bring your arms down and switch to the other leg.
The tree pose can be quite challenging for beginners, so if you’re just starting, you may practice with a friend or a trainer to help with your alignment and posture. You can also do this while standing near a wall or a chair to have support in case you lose your balance.
Mountain pose (Tadasana)
Another classic pose that is taught to improve balance is the Mountain Pose or Tadasana. Like the previous pose, this also helps increase your body awareness and improve your flexibility. This engages your feet, legs, and hips.
- To start, make sure that your feet are firm on the mat. Keep them close together, toes spread out evenly.
- Keep your stand tall. Squeeze in your thighs and avoid locking your knees. You’ll notice that your lower body muscles will start to engage more.
- Direct your attention to your core and lower back. You should feel your spine lengthening as you stand in an upright position. Your abdominal muscles should be engaged but not too squeezed in. Adjust your body accordingly.
- Do not forget to take deep breaths.
- Release tension on your shoulders. Gently drop them down.
- Both your arms should hang low on your sides, just below your hips. Open your palms and face them towards the room.
- Keep your muscles engaged as you start to be aware of your body. You’ll slowly find your natural balance.
- Deepen your breath and hold for 30 seconds.
Knee Lift pose
The next pose is a simple yet quite challenging pose as it takes out the support of your other leg. This pose is done with one leg supporting the weight of your whole body. This works on your balance since all the weight is shifted to a single point.
- Like in the first poses, start with both of your feet flat on the ground. Regain control of your breathing.
- Then put your feet together. Just slightly apart. Your toes should remain wide, and your soles should be pressed firmly on the mat.
- Relax your shoulders. Also, level your chin and keep your gaze straight.
- Slowly shift your weight to your left foot as you bring your right knee towards your chest.
- Straighten your right knee as you keep your back upright.
- Place your hands on your hips for more support.
- Once you’ve gained your balance, you can rest your left hand on the top of your right knee and your right hand on your lower back.
- Slightly twist your body to the right.
- Adjust your breathing and hold the pose for 30 seconds.
- To release, just slowly go back to the previous pose and then bring your right foot down.
- Repeat to the other leg.
Warrior III pose (Virabhadrasana III)
One of the more challenging balancing poses in yoga is the Warrior III pose. It could be a difficult pose to execute, especially if you’re just a beginner. However, there are also variations of this that can help you ease into the pose better.
- You can start first with your right foot pressed onto the mat. Left foot behind. The balls of your feet should be on the ground.
- Put your arms on the side. Hands should stay on your hips.
- Make sure your chest is lifted. Level your chin and keep your gaze straight.
- You can slowly lift your left leg until you’re parallel with the mat. If you’re having a hard time, you can ask your trainer or friend to help you. You may also work with a chair first or near a wall so you can prevent yourself from falling. Other than this, you can keep your leg low as long as you keep your chest lifted through the pose.
- Once you’re comfortable with the position, straighten your arms up front until you form a straight line.
- Take deep breaths and hold the pose for 30 seconds. Repeat on your other leg.
Dancer pose (Natarajasana)
Another challenging pose that strengthens your body develops your balance and opens your chest is the Dancer Pose or Natarajasana. This can be done by someone who’s been in practice for a long time or even a beginner.
Just make sure that you have support nearby to help you adjust.
- You can start in the middle of the mat.
- Slightly bend your right knee and grab your left foot from the outside. Ensure that your right foot is centered on the ground. Your feet pressed firmly against the mat.
- Make sure your butt is not sticking out. Keep your tailbone down and pull in your core. Your pelvis should remain neutral and square.
- Raise your right arm over your head. You’ll feel your body extend. If it helps, you can raise your head slightly higher and gaze upwards.
- Once you find your stability, start extending your right foot back– any amount you’re comfortable with.
- As you get better with practice, you can kick your leg higher while keeping your chest open and core more engaged.
- Make sure to take slow breaths. Hold your pose for 30 seconds, and then repeat to the other side.
Side Plank pose (Vasisthasana)
The side plank pose is a yoga pose that develops our arm balance. This also engages your upper body more, particularly your core and arm strength. Planks have different variations and are not only present in yoga but in other practices as well.
- To start with the side plank, make sure that your palm is flat on the mat, and your shoulder and wrist are in line.
- Then, extend your leg and make a solid base with your feet. If you’re having a hard time finding balance, you can drop your right knee for support. Ensure that your hips are not too high or low but at the center.
- Once your body is properly aligned, raise your other arm above your head. Your fingertips should be in line with each other.
- If you’re more stable and familiar with the pose, you can also raise your left leg. Ensure that your foot is still flexed and there is still a straight line from your head to your heel.
- Hold the pose for 30 seconds and repeat with your other side.
Balancing Table pose (Dandayamna Bharmanasana)
Another pose that works on not only the upper body but also the lower body is the Balancing Table pose. With this pose, you keep your core and glutes well engaged. This works well for beginner yogis as it integrates a lot of muscles in your body.
- Start with a tabletop position. Your arms are flat on the mat, right below your shoulders.
- Your knees should be bent and placed under your hips. Ensure that your toes are tucked under.
- Take slow deep breaths. Then slowly raise your left arm parallel to the mat and extend your right leg as well. You should form a straight line.
- Keep your head neutral. Do not raise too much, nor keep your chin down. Make sure you soften your gaze on the mat.
- As you exhale, bring your arm and leg down. Work on your breathing again.
- Inhale and repeat on the opposite side. Bring your right arm up and extend your left leg.
- Hold the position for a few breaths. You can repeat the sequence for 30 seconds each.
Eagle pose (Garudasana)
The eagle pose is a standing pose that improves your balance and focus. This pushes you to concentrate and be more aware of your body and posture. Just like with the other standing poses, it shifts your weight onto one leg, thus regaining balance.
- Start by standing in the middle of your mat and feet slightly apart.
- Slowly raise your arms forward. Maintain a straight gaze.
- Bend your knees and gently shift all your weight to your left foot. Cross the other leg over your left thigh and tuck your right foot in your calf.
- Once you find your balance, take your right arm and put it above the left. Wrap the arms together. You may keep your palms touching one another, or you may clasp them together.
- Take deep breaths. Slowly squat low as you feel your core get more engaged and your hips open up.
- Hold this for a few breaths. As you exhale, unwrap your arms and bring them forward.
- Then, unwrap your leg and slowly rise up.
- Work on your breathing and repeat to the other side.
If you’re just starting with yoga, these are some of the best yoga poses to improve your balance. These poses can be daunting at first, but you can always start small and then progress to more complex poses. Just ensure that your safety is your priority. Avoid getting into poses without additional support.
Lastly, do not forget to breathe and enjoy!