These days, it’s easy to feel out of balance, both physically and mentally. Yoga can relax your emotions and help put you back on track. Try these five yoga poses to help improve your balance and find your center.
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.
Side Plank Pose
- Start on the floor on your hands and knees. Place the hands directly under your shoulders and spread your fingers wide, pressing them into the ground evenly.
- Shift your weight onto your right side by stacking your left leg on top of your right leg. Place your left foot on the floor in front of the right or, for more a challenge, stack the left foot on top of the right foot. Balancing your weight on your strong right hand. Reach the left hand towards the sky, creating a “t” with the arms.
- Inhale and exhale smoothly throughout the pose. Hold the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute, then switch sides.
Legs Up the Wall
- Perform this pose near a wall. Lie on your back.
- Raise the legs up and lie them flat against the wall.
- Lay the arms along the sides of the body.
- Relax and breathe deeply for 5-20 minutes.
Warrior Three (advanced)
- Begin in Mountain Pose. As you exhale, step your feet 3 1/2 to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms parallel to the floor and reach out strong with the shoulder blades wide apart. Face your palms down toward the floor.
- Turn your right foot forward 45 degrees and your left foot out to the left 90 degrees. Align the left heel with the right heel. Engage your thigh muscles.
- Exhale and bend your left knee over the left ankle. Keep the shin perpendicular to the floor. Keep the right leg engaged while pressing the toes of the right foot firmly to the floor.
- Stretch the arms as far back and as far forward as you can, keeping them parallel to the floor. Keep the torso elongated and the shoulders back and down. Turn the head to the left and gaze over the fingers.
- Stay in Warrior 3 for 30 seconds to 1 minute. Inhale to come up. Reverse the feet and repeat on the left side.