Balance in Yoga


Full Tree

Balancing poses are often the hardest poses to do in yoga. The help to develop core strength and tone as well as improve coordination, posture and confidence. Balancing requires an elaborate interaction between sense of touch, inner ear mechanisms, vision, muscle control and concentration of mind.

Balance demands focus and concentration, which centers us and draws us inward. With practice, we build the strength necessary to stand tall, strong, stable, and centered in our balancing postures. This balancing strength tends to spill into other areas of your life including physical, mental, emotional and spiritual soundness.

Here are some tips for balancing poses:
1)   Know this. You WILL fall out of the pose. Consider it a lesson in humility and press on! Perseverance is a great quality to cultivate.
2)   Align and root your feet first, building your pose from the ground, ending by lifting through the crown of the head.
3)    Take it slow and move steadily into each pose. It is more difficult to regain balance once lost.
4)    Breathe fully and gently and focus your gaze on a fixed point.
5)   Relax your mind. Focus on the vertical line of balance within you, from spine up through the crown of your head.
6)   Use props. Use the wall, a chair or blocks to assist you if having difficulty.
7)    Be patient and kind to yourself…and repeat.

Also, notice subtle energy in the pose. In Tree Pose, feel yourself rooting down and deeply connecting to the earth. Feel the nourishment of earth energy coming up through your feet and moving up through the energy centers (chakras) along the spine. See the energy continue up through the crown of the head, knowing that you are a bridge between feminine earth energy (below) and masculine spirit energy (above). 

Take some breaths and imagine the breath initiating from the earth, drawing energy upward. As you do this, lengthen the spine and feel yourself lifting. Then take some breaths and imagine initiating the breath from above, from your Source. Draw the breath downward and feel yourself rooting and connecting with the earth. 

It is a wonderful thing when we use each posture to remind us that we are spiritual beings having a human experience.

Here are some balancing poses to inspire you. Enjoy!