Yoga for Balance
Yogis have long believed that when the body is balanced then so too is the mind. And when both body and mind are balanced then so too is life.
If only it was that easy, however, a regular yoga practice can help.
Yoga postures and techniques are able to help us achieve overall physical and emotional balance. They also teach us valuable tools and techniques that we can draw on during challenging or changing times.
Even when we feel balanced that can all change in a moment.
One of the keys to physical and emotional balance is being consistent with our practice.
The physical body is rarely symmetrical. One side of the body is usually stronger or more flexible than the other. Such imbalances can eventually cause minor aches and pains, if ignored they could eventually develop into something more serious.
Yoga encourages us to keep tuning into the body and discovering these small imbalances.
Remember that all physical imbalances can also be reflected emotionally.
So working to achieve a good sense of physical balance will reflect throughout your entire life.
That being said balance is not about strength or standing on one leg.
In Yoga finding balance also goes way beyond the physical aspect. The words Ha - Tha Yoga, translates to mean the following; - sun - moon - yoke or the joining or coming together of the sun and the moon. This has lead many yogis to believe that one of the main objectives of Hatha Yoga is to bring balance to opposing forces and to encourage them to work together for positive changes, movement or acceptance to occur.
Quick Tip for Improving your Balance
Perform postures that help to open the body, especially the chest and heart area. Balancing becomes easier when energy flows freely around the body. If the chest is closed and the shoulders are rolled forwards it can be difficult to balance as the body is pulled forward and out of alignment.
Make sure that you focus on your alignment.
Try the following two easy postures to help improve balance.
Baddha Konasana (The Cobbler or Bound Angle)
Baddha Konasana is easy to perform. Next time you practice it try doing so following the below instructions this will help you find overall balance in this simple seated posture.
Begin by sitting with a straight spine and the soles of your feet together. Become aware of the connection between your sitting bones and the floor, then work to draw up your lower abdominal muscles maintaining the connection between your sitting bones and the floor.
Take your time to feel that you are growing up out of the crown of your head, feel the length of your spine as you maintain a connection between your sitting bones and the earth.
Instead of holding onto your feet allow your wrists to rest lightly on your knees, to help open the chest and the area around the heart.
Take your focus to the sides of your body, both sides of your body from your underarms to the floor should be equal in length, also notice the position of your torso and keep your chest open, make sure that your body is not rotating keep it square to the front. Now notice your knees, both knees should be releasing equally towards the floor.
As you hold the posture breathing slowly in and out through your nose continue to scan through all these areas to ensure that the body remains in a state of balance. When you feel ready it is possible to work on the subtle connection between breath and movement. As you inhale allow your knees to lift slightly and as you exhale allow the knees to drift towards the floor. Remain mindful throughout.
The Tree (Vrksasana)
Begin standing with a small space between the insides of your feet and the outside edges of your feet parallel. Transfer all your weight onto your right foot and lift the left leg. Place the sole of the left foot against the inside of the right foot with the toes pointing down and the knee out to the side. Join the palms of the hands to form a prayer position in front of your chest. Breathe slowly through your nose for ten complete breaths and then repeat on the other side.
Once the body is experiencing a greater sense of balance it is possible to enjoy improved levels of health and vitality. The risk of injury is reduced, falls and tumbles will become rarer, aches and pains experienced due to incorrect posture will diminish, energy levels will be enhanced as stress and tension caused by imbalances are removed, internal organs are able to function more efficiently, circulation will improve and greater levels of oxygen and nutrients will be received by the cells. Not forgetting that the mind will become clearer and more focused too.
The Yoga 2 Hear class Yoga for Balance has been created to bring balance to the body and mind.