Maintaining good balance and stability is vital for performing many activities in our daily lives. This fact was highlighted in recent news as former President Jimmy Carter suffered two falls, resulting in stitches and a minor pelvic fracture. No matter what the age, having good balance can help improve your coordination, prevent injury and increase your ability to adjust in sudden changes of direction.
And as with all muscles of the body, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”.
So keep it moving!
Here are three simple yoga poses you can do to build your balance.
- Mountain (Tadasana) pose: Stand with your big toes together and heels slightly apart. Spread your toes. Rock from side to side, forward and backward, then gradually become still with your weight evenly distributed on both feet.
Like a mountain, stand with your thighs and core firm. Align your legs, belly, pelvic region, neck and head. Press your shoulders back and down and look gently forward. Relax the muscles in your face and breathe easily. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
- Tree (Vrksasana) pose: From Mountain pose, slowly lift the right foot to hovering slightly above the floor. For more of a challenge, bend the right knee and place the right foot on the left shin or inner left thigh. Keep the hips front, squared and even with each other. Bring the hands to prayer position at your chest. If allowed, bring the arms straight up into the air. Focus your eyes on a still object directly in front of you. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Repeat this sequence on the left foot.
- Warrior One (Virabhadrasana) pose: Stand in Mountain pose. Step your left foot back about 4 feet apart from your right foot. Turn your left foot in 45-60 degrees and turn your right foot out 90 degrees pointing forward. Align your right heel with the left heel. Exhale, bending your right knee to 90 degrees, rotate your torso toward your bent thigh and square your pelvis forward as much as possible.
Raise your arms parallel to the floor and push your shoulders back and down. Lift our chest and keep your gaze over your right fingertips. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to one minute. Repeat on the other side.