Finding Your Balance
Updated: Nov 30, 2019
Life can be hard. Adulting can be harder. I know I'm not alone in the struggle to find balance in my life! Whether it's work/life balance, family/friends balance, or anything in between - we are all faced with the challenge of splitting our time one way or another without metaphorically face planting. While I can't give you tips to balance your time, I can at least help you find balance in your yoga practice! I've got a handful of poses to add to your daily flows so you can be surefooted and steadfast in your asanas!
Yes, balancing poses are typically standing or one legged, but it's best to start with the basics and that is to begin with balancing your mind! Lotus pose, or Padmasana, is a great pose to begin your flows with. This pose is often practiced during meditation. While seated, place each foot on the opposite thigh - this gives your knees and thighs a very deep stretch, so it's important to find your breath right away and get that oxygen moving! Once you've began your breathing, you'll begin to calm and quiet your busy mind.
Tree pose seems like a pretty basic idea for finding balance, but what better muse do we have? A tree is strong, sturdy, and rooted to its spot - not swayed until time and the strongest of storms have broken their bows. Be like the tree! Plant your standing leg into the ground, connecting with the Earth and establishing your roots. Bringing your other foot onto the opposite inner thigh and raising your hands to heart center or above your head, you'll be victorious in Vriksasana from root to limb!
Eagle pose has always been one of my favorites. The interwoven limbs remind me of two infinity signs - a lot like my double infinity tattoo! Holding this balancing bind stretches your shoulders, your ankles, and nearly everything in between - truly! On top of that, you're sure to gain the balance of an eagle perched high in a tree. Be grateful for your Garudasana!
Utkatasana is another pose that I commonly add to my flows. I have a tight lower back, so the elongation of your vertebral column that chair pose has to offer is very appealing to me. It's important to tap into your core to hold your balance in this asana. By engaging those muscles, you're able to maintain stability while your booty fights gravity. I think the fear of falling backwards is definitely a driving facto in finding my balance faster. Plow pose is for later, am i right?
One Legged Chair
From utkatasana, we can easily head into Eka Pada Utkatasana for a little extra challenge. By bringing one leg into lotus and squatting into chair, we've now got a deep hip/glute stretch and a one legged chair. My hips are always in need of a good stretch, and I find myself getting into this pose randomly throughout the day for some immediate relief. Onlookers be damned, it feels great. Bring your hands to heart center and breathe as you squat deeper into chair to further your stretch.
Dancer's pose will always be my go to 'gram pose. It makes me feel so graceful and I can't wait for the day that I'll be flexible enough to flip my grip and grab my foot over my head, rather than behind it. Every time I enter Natarajasana, a calm and peace of mind washes over me. Something about this alignment allows me to soften my gaze and just be. Perhaps that's the balance we're all after! Even if it isn't, there's more than enough strengthening and stretching to enhance your equilibrium. Your leg muscles strengthen and tone while your chest and shoulders open and stretch. It's all the challenge of a balancing pose, plus a backbend, yet still looks like you're a creature of grace and lighter than air.
All of the warrior poses bring something to the battlefield, and Virabhadrasana III is here to bring you balance! This is the ultimate balancing pose - especially if you're long, like me! Creating this shape always gives me an amazing hamstring stretch in my grounded leg. There is so much wobbling when I head into this Superman shape, but the more that I tighten my core, the more stability I have in my asana. Once I'm able to hold my position parallel to the ground, I know that my balance is in business!
In writing this post, I've noticed that quite a few of my favorites happen to have balance as a benefit! I may struggle to keep it in my personal life, but keeping it in my practice is a piece of cake! I hope you'll be able to use some - or all - of these poses in your practice and find a bit of balance in your life!