As we end the year we take this time to reflect on 2016 and build our intentions for 2017, balance is at the heart of our reflection. The essence of yoga is balance and harmony, in our bodies, minds and surroundings. It important to have balanced and healthy relationships as this fuels the balance in our minds and the health in our bodies. During a yoga practice it is this category of asanas that determine our inner tranquillity, as it tests our mental prowess that manifests to stillness in our bodies.
Let’s examine the balancing postures of tree pose and warrior III. Both are standing postures, where the weight of the body is balanced on one foot. It is very important to keep the standing leg straight and anchored down into your mat. To protect your knee and ankle make sure you engage your thighs, especially on the standing leg so that you feel the strength in your muscles as it bear the weight and takes the load off your joints. Your core plays a major role in keeping the centre of gravity stable in your body.
Tree pose is a great posture for beginners as it helps you gain awareness of your body. Standing on one leg place the other foot on the inner thigh of your standing leg, bring your hands together and stretch your arms overhead with your fingers pointing to the ceiling. Square your hips to keep your posture level, push your foot into your thigh and engage your thigh to resist the pressure- this will help you distribute your weight evenly. The more you push your foot down into the mat the more you will straighten up your back, lifting your arms up higher.
Warrior III is one of the most powerful balancing poses, it requires both strength of the body and the mind. Standing on one leg raise the other legs behind you, reach your arms in front of you, tilt your pelvis and straighten your back so that your torso, leg and arms are parallel to the floor. Your standing leg must be engaged, if it is too strenuous to keep it straight you can slightly bend your knee. The key to staying in equilibrium is to keep your back leg lifted and active and your hands are powered forwards in the same proportion, the more engage your arms and leg the more your back will straighten.
Balancing poses help to focus the mind, they drastically improve concentration when practised regularly. Your gaze is crucial in balancing postures. While setting up your pose, make sure you fix your eyes on one spot, keeping the focus of your gaze will help you stabilize your body and free your mind from any distracting thoughts. Establishing a strong foundation is a prerequisite in feeling confident in balancing poses, our beginner’s yoga program helps you set up strength in your legs and correct alignment in your feet and hips to improve your balance and increase your awareness to how to most efficiently hold your weight.