Learn Yoga to Improve Balance

Edited by HealthNut, Eng, VisiHow

Many people are inspired to practice yoga to not only improve their flexibility and strength but also to improve their balance. Balance is important in day-to-day life and only gets more important as we get older. Having good balance can also help us to maintain good posture, and it is crucial for people suffering from ailments like scoliosis, since bad balance can lead to our putting even more pressure on one side of our bodies.

Good balance is also really useful when practicing other sports, especially sports which are heavily focused on one side of the body. The poses listed below should be held for about 5-10 breaths, although be sure not to over-exert yourself and just build up gradually. A sign of over-exertion is your being unable to elegantly get out of the pose and instead collapsing out of it. It can be tempting to rush into balance poses, but you may find yourself straining your muscles. Be patient and take the poses and their instructions slowly, and you'll see progress quicker than you can shout, "Timber!"

Click the titles for step-by-step instructions for how to do each pose!

What equipment will you need to get started?

  • A yoga block or bolster.
  • A yoga strap.
  1. 1
    Tree Pose - Vrksasana. Tree Pose, also known as Vrksasana, is a great pose for opening and realigning the spine. Although it can be difficult at first, it's a wonderful pose for practicing often and even being used as a resting pose, depending upon your sequence. Learn Yoga with the Tree PoseTree Pose]] strengthens the ankle, thigh and calf as well as stretches the groin, thigh, spine, and shoulders.
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  2. 2
    High Lunge - Ashwa Sanchalanasana. High Lunge can also take some practice to master without feeling uncomfortable or wobbly, but Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana is one of the best poses to strengthen the arms and legs as well as to stretch the muscles around the groin. This pose is also very popular with runners.
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  3. 3
    Chair Pose - Utktasana. Chair pose, or Utkatasana, is a very popular standing pose used to strengthen the arms and legs whilst improving balance. It strengthens the ankle, thigh and calf and can be intensified by squeezing a block or bolster between your knees or sinking lower into the pose. Similarly to a squat, make sure that most of your weight is on the back of your feet not on your toes to avoid putting too much pressure on your knees.
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  4. 4
    Triangle Pose - Trikonasana. It is best to start practicing this pose with a yoga block or bolster to help create more space between your shoulders and legs. Trikonasana is great for aligning your spine and improving your balance as well as for stretching your hamstrings, so it's another good pose for runners. Be aware of your hip placement and be sure not to lock your joints when practicing the Triangle. You can enhance the pose by bringing your raised hand round to your lower back or to the top of your opposite thigh if you feel comfortable.
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  5. 5
    Half Moon Pose - Ardha Candrasana. Another popular standing pose, Half Moon (Ardha Candrasana) is another one to add to your practice if you want to improve your balance and general back health. It focuses on the spine and neck areas, strengthening and toning the abdomen, glutei and thighs and stretching the calf, shoulder and hamstrings. Take caution when practicing Ardha Candrasana if you are prone to headaches or migraines. You can also use a yoga block to create more space at the beginning to make the pose as comfortable and open as possible to suit your body. If you're struggling with any abdominal issues such as IBS, constipation, menstrual cramps or indigestion, then this pose can help to ease those symptoms.
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  6. 6
    Warrior II - Virabhadrasana. Warrior II is another balance and strength-building pose, focusing mainly on the legs and spine. Correct form is crucial with the Warrior poses, as you could easily apply too much pressure to sensitive muscles. Ensure that your heels are in line, that you can see your big toe in front of your knee, and that your neck muscles are lengthened evenly on both sides not strained to look over your hand. To deepen the pose, bend your arms at the elbows and keep your palms elevated near your head with your shoulders drawn down.
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Do you have a pose that has helped you learn to balance better? Let us know, and we'll feature an article on it. Send us your photos, and we'll feature you in the article!

See our other yoga tutorials:

If you have problems with any of the steps in this article, please ask a question for more help, or post in the comments section below.


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Categories : Sports

Recent edits by: Eng, HealthNut

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