Hey everyone! Welcome back to my Yoga 101 series! I am very excited to share another post with you all because I have fallen in love with yoga over the past couple years. Today’s Yoga 101 is all about balance, so of course, I will be sharing three different balancing poses with you all. Balancing poses can be quite tricky, but not impossible! As usual, I will be going over how you will get into these poses, as well as how to stay in them. Remember that I am in no way a professional or expert in yoga. Keep in mind that I am still learning myself. Due to my two years of practicing yoga, I do feel confident enough to help others learn and grow as well. Breathe, take your time, and go into this with an optimistic attitude.
Today, we will start with boat pose. When we think of balancing, we often think of being on our feet, however there are many yoga poses that require us to balance. Boat pose is a great example of balance without using our feet. To start, you want to come down to a seated position on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you. Once here, start by lengthening the spine. Imagine that you are sitting against a wall with the best posture ever. Keep the length in the spine as you slowly tilt backwards as your legs come up and off the ground. Your toes will be pointed and your knees can stay in a right angle. Your arms will reach alongside your legs as your palms face inward. If you are looking to advance your practice, try straightening your legs. If both of these versions are just too challenging for you at this time, you can modify the pose by having your palms or fingertips on the ground beside you.
I remember a very important lesson that I learned in dance class many years ago, and it still helps me in my fitness journey today. When doing any fast paced turns or spins, I was told to stare at one spot in the room and to keep my eye on it. That way, when I would spin, I wouldn’t lose my balance or fall out of it. This advice is what I want to share with you before you even start getting into tree pose. Start by finding an object or spot on the wall in front of you (as long as this object or spot is still). When you’ve found an object/spot, stare at it and stand in mountain pose. Make sure to lengthen your spine, without sticking out your bottom. Stand tall and proud like a mountain. Bring your hands to a prayer position in front of your chest. And keep your feet parallel. Stare at your object and slowly begin to lift one leg. The lifted foot will gently come to the inner thigh of the standing leg. Make sure that your foot is not pushing into the thigh. You want your standing leg to be strong and grounded so the thigh can support the lifted foot. If this is too difficult for you right now, you can lower your lifted foot either to the standing calf or to the standing ankle. Never press your foot against the standing knee; this is bringing lateral pressure to the knee which can cause injury. When you are in this pose, remember to breathe and stare at your object to help you balance. Don’t forget to repeat the process for the other leg as well. This is in no way an easy pose, but it is a powerful one. Do your best, and if you fall out of it, come back and try again.
This is definitely the most challenging of the three poses I am sharing today. Again, remember that balance is truly key. I understand that just reading about getting into this pose may be confusing for the reader, so please refer back to my Yoga 101 highlight on my Instagram @sacchere14 to better understand this pose. You’ll want to start by standing in mountain pose. Bring your arms straight out to the sides and then bring them back in, wrapping your right arm underneath your left. You will then wrap your wrists as well so that your palms are touching. If wrapping the wrists is too much for you, keep the back of the hands touching instead, or place the opposite hand on the opposite shoulder. Be sure to keep the elbows down and the forearms away from your face. Next you will come down into chair pose (I have written about chair in a blog post linked here). Find an object/spot to stare at and then put all of your weight into your left leg as you come to your tip toes on your right. Squeeze the right knee into your chest and then slowly begin to wrap it around the left leg. If this is already difficult, stay with the legs twisted but keep the tip toes of the right foot on the ground. If you want to advance, try wrapping your right foot around the standing left leg.
To this day, these are still poses that I am trying to perfect. It may be difficult and even a bit frustrating to learn these poses, but trust me, when you get it right and learn to balance, you will feel amazing! Believe in yourself, clear your mind, focus on your breathing, and eventually, balancing will feel like second nature! Thank you so much for reading. I am already looking forward to writing my next Yoga 101. Stay tuned!
Click here to go to my Instagram page. Here you will find my Yoga 101 highlight where I talk you through each pose.