Life happens, so when it does are you ready to seek within? These poses will have you balancing faster than a cat’s meow. You heard it here first! Things don’t stop or sit still simply because we need them too it takes our focus, drive, determination and commitment to create balance.
While taking pictures of these balancing yoga poses, I set up on a fairly busy running/biking trail. Why? Partly, because the scenery and the hill across the way was a perfect place for my tripod but also, I knew that to achieve balance here, it would truly require me to seek from within. With a highway on one side, a river with boats on the other, runner’s and biker’s passing by quickly, it was anything but quiet but it was the challenge I needed. Rather than focusing on the sounds and things going on around me, I had to tune it out. I couldn’t worry about what everybody else was or wasn’t doing. It didn’t matter. I was making a conscious effort to balance in the midst of life.
We don’t always get to choose everything that happens around us or to us. The only choice were given is how we respond. These poses help bring your focus within. They teach us to maintain our center no matter what is taking place around us.
Balancing on All 4’s
Beginning on hands and knees, wrists under shoulders, knees under hips, left arm reaches out as you extend the opposite, right leg. Hold this position for 60-90 seconds and switch sides. Keep the spine long, gaze to the mat, hips even, belly button drawn to spine, shoulders back and down.
Side Knee Plank Balance
Beginning with right hand underneath shoulder and right knee under hip, lift left leg up parallel to the mat and reach left arm up the sky. This is prep for our half moon standing balance.
Side Plank Knee Plank Variation
Same pose as above except here you have the option to bind the left leg by bringing it in closer, allowing a stretch and a backbend.
Standing Splits with/without blocks
Begin in forward fold, reach one leg up behind you. It doesn’t matter how high you lift your leg. Activate both feet, the standing one by rooting down into the mat, and the lifted one by spreading the toes and lengthening the leg. Option: Use blocks to reach mat as shown in the picture above.
Warrior 3 with/without blocks
In this pose our goal is to bring the lifted leg and arms parallel to the floor. When first attempting this pose, use a block under each hand and practice lifting the back foot, eventually you may begin to lift one or both arms to reach out in front of you.
Half Moon Balance & Half Moon Balance Bind with block
This is one of my favorite yoga poses. Place a block out in front, a little to the side of whichever leg you’re balancing on first. You’re going to keep the balancing leg pointing forward. Take and lift the back leg up as in Warrior 3, except now we are going to rotate the hip open to the side. The chest also rotates and opens to the side reaching the top arm up. Don’t be afraid to bend the balancing leg. You have to feel your way into this pose. It will take some time and practice. Eventually you can begin to draw the extended leg in for a bind. Remember looking down helps with balance, looking up challenges it.
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