Get steady! Combine on and off the mat strategies for better balance with yoga.
Did you know that how well you balance can have as much to do with your mental state as it does with your physical ability? If you are not focused mentally, or if your emotions are running wild, your body will wobble!
Balance is a state of mind.
Without focus, we will not be able to balance our bodies. No matter how many times we practice tree pose, we won’t grow roots if our mind wanders. Emotional turmoil will make it difficult to soar in the eagle pose. Our Warrior III pose will become the fallen hero if we can’t keep focused.
Let’s start with five practical steps you can take for better balance with yoga on your mat. Be cautious if you are on medications that may make you feel dizzy or light-headed or have other issues that have you wobbly beyond the usual (ask your yoga therapist or healthcare provider for more guidance).
- Focus your eyes on one spot. Don’t let your eyes blur or wander.
- Practice an affirmation to help steady your mind such as this one from the Ananda Yoga (TM) tradition: “I am calm, I am poised.” for tree pose.
- If needed use a wall, sturdy chair, or kitchen counter to help support you to prevent falling.
- You don’t need to be on one leg to practice your balance. Anything that challenges your balance works.
- Balance is like a muscle and needs to be worked daily.
Add balance poses to your daily routine and feel the difference – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually!
However, if you want to be really good with balance, you need to do more.
Healthy living habits are the foundation for a balanced lifestyle full of joy, vigor, and a calm focused mind. With a calm, focused mind we can conquer a wobbly stance on our yoga mat.
These are the five practices that will help you attain the steady focus of a hero in any pose.
- Practice healthy relationships with yourself and others
- Practice healthy habits for body, mind, and soul
- Practice yoga postures
- Practice breathing
- Practice concentration/meditation
If you know yoga philosophy you might see a connection between this list and the first five limbs of Patanjanli’s Yoga Sutra’s. But no worries if you haven’t a clue who Patanjali is or what the Yoga Sutras are and want to improve your balance. Read on!
Check out these examples of how the five practices work:
- If we fail to practice non-judgment, our minds can become cluttered with judgmental thoughts of others and of ourselves. A cluttered mind can’t focus or balance well.
- If our diet is off we may feel dizzy from lack (such as iron), or from excess (such as caffeine).
- Working on balance poses can help bring our minds to a place of more focus and less judgment.
- Our breathing practices can help us become balanced emotionally or nail a steady dancer’s pose.
- Meditation practice teaches us to focus despite distractions. It can steady us when we only have one foot on the ground.
With the five practical steps and the five practices for better balance on and off the mat, you have the 10 key strategies for better balance with yoga. Soon people will be wanting to know how you became so steady on and off your mat.