Balancing poses are an important part of a yoga practice and have many benefits. One of the primary benefits of a balancing pose is as its name implies it allows you to work on your ability to balance your body weight by improving your coordination and strength. In my daily yoga practice I perform three asanas that I find helpful in maintaining and improving my balance, and that I just enjoy doing.
Let’s start with King Dancer Pose:
Benefits of King Dancer Pose
- Stretches the shoulders and chest
- Stretches the thighs, groins, and abdomen
- Strengthens the legs and ankles
- Improves balance and coordination
How to perform King Dancer Pose:
Stand in Mountain Pose. Inhale, shift your weight onto your right foot, and lift your left heel toward your left buttock as you bend the knee. Press the head of your right thigh bone back, deep into the hip joint, and pull the knee cap up to keep the standing leg straight and strong. Then repeat but this time, inhale and shift your weight onto your left foot.
King Dancer (beginner)
King Dancer (intermediate)
Another of my favorite balancing poses is Tree Pose. I’m only going to show what would be considered the intermediate version of Tree Pose or what is the most typical at least from my experience.
Benefits of Tree Pose
- The position helps improve posture and balance
- It strengthens calves, ankles and thighs
- Perform this pose regularly to improve balance and overall well being
- For me it is very calming, especially when you pick a focus point and relax your hip allowing it to open up
How to perform Tree Pose:
Stand in Mountain Pose, draw your right foot up and place the sole against the inner left thigh; if possible, press the right heel into the inner left groin, toes pointing toward the floor. I like to put my hands together as depicted below, but you can extend your arms over your head either hands touching or apart. Stay for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Step back to Mountain Pose with an exhalation and repeat for the same length of time with the legs reversed.
Tree Pose (intermediate)
The third balancing pose is called Warrior III. This pose is great for building strength and balance. Unlike the first two it gets your back perpedicular to the floor.
Benefits of Warrior III:
- Strengthens the ankles and legs
- Strengthens the shoulders and muscles of the back
- Tones the abdomen
How to perform Warrior III Pose:
With one leg in front of the other bring your weight forward into your front foot and gently kick up your back leg. At the same time, bring the torso forward until it is parallel to the floor. Keep the neck relaxed, as if it’s the natural extension of the spine. You can either bring the arms back along your sides or bring them together in front of you as depicted below.
Warrior III (hands forward)
Use these balancing poses to help calm yourself and work on your coordination, balance, and strength. They will help you acquire the strength and balance you need to protect yourself and prevent falls and other mishaps that happen out there in the world. For me they are more calming in nature than most of the other standing poses and provide a nice transition to supine or sitting poses.
Remember the key to maintaining your balance is to pick a focal point in front of you with your eyes and focus on it allowing your body to naturally balance itself.