Benefits of the Balance Pose
In this mile a minute world, it is vary rare that we ever give ourselves a moment to just stop, center ourselves and look within. I’ve notice that the more I have on my plate and the more multitasking I take on, the more spastic and out of balance I become. Not only mentally out of balance, stumbling over words and forgetting my train of thought, but physically out of balance as well….ok, I’m a little clumsy sometimes. Yes, its important to give yourself time to exercise, releasing built up energy and releasing endorphis, but with all my years of teaching Pilates and Yoga, I’ve come to appreciate the art and inner peace of the balance pose. Not only do balance poses build heat in our bodies, creating long and strong muscles, it creates a grounding sense of internal calm that no other physicality, I have come across, accesses. Even relatively simple yoga balances like Vrksasana (Tree Pose) and Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose) demand our full attention in a way that other exercises and poses do not. There's no fudging it! The instant we lose focus, we fall. In order to stand on one foot and balance, we naturally forget about the outside world and focus on the task at hand….you are forced to focus on the present!
When we balance, we do not stay physically still. We continually align our body's center of gravity with the earth's gravitational force, trying to find our internal balance. Iyengar-certified yoga teacher and research scientist Roger Cole, Ph.D., explains, “ This effort to center and recenter, when successful, brings not only our flesh and bones into balance but also our nerve impulses, thoughts, emotions, and very consciousness. Hence, we feel calm.”
Balancing is amazing to add on to any workout! Its centers you in the moment, helping you feel grounded and relaxed, helping you to leave your thoughts and responsibilities at the door. Also, for a quick fix of calming meditation, try it out when you feel stressed or need a minute away from reality. Try holding the balance pose for 10 even, deep breaths, and come out of it mindfully and slowly…I swear it helps!!
Do one-legged balancing poses on a firm, level surface.
Do them early in your practice session, when you are energized rather than fatigued.
Keep you eyes gently fixed on one spot.
Breath calm and deeply through your nose and out your mouth.
If you need help to begin balancing, start by holding onto a wall or surface, then once you’ve found your center, slowly let go.
For a little extra help in you balance pose, try reaching your arms out evenly in a T position.