Maintaining balance, in a more abstract sense, is all about achieving stability in your mind and feelings. Balance, in a physical sense, allows for power and strength. Physical balance is what keeps you upright and steady even while holding a difficult or strenuous position.
Balance helps you stand firm without falling, both literally and figuratively. Meaning, you cannot achieve perfect physical balance without the more abstract mental balance. And vice-versa. Without careful practice in both forms any number of things can throw us off balance. We become unsteady, in danger of falling, even confused or bewildered. But with proper balance those SAME things seeking to throw you off will leave you remaining level-headed, calm, and at peace. Sound impossible? It’s not.
While most of us find ways to practice balance in our everyday lives, whether that be prioritizing work tasks or monitoring time spent with friends and family, we tend to neglect our physical balance. Perhaps you feel clumsier than a three year old or maybe you’ve reached an age where you’ve noticed a decrease in your overall sense of steadiness. Yoga allows you to practice the often ignored physical and emotional aspects of balance.
Now, put yoga and balance together in a sentence and you might be picturing a veteran yogi up in a headstand or it may call to mind visions of yourself teeter-tottering on one leg. But the kind of balance you can achieve through a yoga practice is so much more than that. It has the power to prevent injuries as you move through your everyday life and as you age over time. Not to mention, balance improves mental tranquility and focus, relieves stress, decreases lethargy, and keeps you centered and grounded.
These balancing poses are particularly excellent for people seeking a greater sense of focus; like students, politicians, artists, scientists, and writers. They could also prove beneficial for individuals at risk of repetitive strain injuries; like those who work long hours at a desk or spend a lot of time driving.
Yoga Poses to improve balance
Always warm up before performing any asanas. (Sun Salutations)
If you have trouble maintaining your balance, practice with your free hand against a wall for support.
All of these poses strengthen ankles, legs, shoulders, and back muscles, tones abdominals, improves posture, and improves sense of balance.
Try to follow the Sivananda structure by starting and ending your practice in savasana (laying down-corpse pose)