Most yogis I know have a love-hate relationship with balance poses. Some days balancing comes easy, but other days tree pose can feel like absolute torture. There is a reason for this, and it has little to do with your ability to actually balance.
Take a look at the following secrets that will help keep your tree from toppling over.
Get out of your head
If yesterday you rocked half moon pose but today fell right on your rear, try examining your current state of mind. Often times when life has us thinking, worrying, or fretting about everything, we won’t have any stability in our balance poses.
Fixing your gaze on a still point in the room is a great way to help your balance because it keeps your mind focused just long enough to complete your task. When your thoughts are scampering about your to-do list, balancing will seem nearly impossible. Instead, get your thoughts out of your head. They will be there when you get back to them, so don’t fret over letting them go during your yoga practice.
Use your core
You don’t need to be a Pilates pro to have a strong enough core that will help you balance. Although certainly beneficial, any amount of core activation will do the trick.
Next time you are in a balance pose, imagine you are wearing a tight corset around your torso. Stand up tall, pull in on the sides of your waist, flatten your lower belly, and bring your front lower ribs into your spine. The stability you will gain from making this simple adjustment will transfer through to any or all of your balance poses.
Let yourself wobble
Most people think that in order to do a balance pose correctly, they have to be completely still. This is not true. No matter how still someone who has great balance may appear, there are always small, micro-movements happening somewhere in the body.
Let your ankle move while standing on one leg. Feel your weight shift from the heel of your hand to the base of your fingers while in an arm balance pose. Allow your body to move so you can ride out the gentle undulations of each balance pose. By doing this you will release your need to be “perfect” and instead embrace what is actually going on in your body.
July 30th, 2013