This article is additional information regarding the yoga exercise proposed for the month of May in our positive affirmations card game (Balance - I feel in my place at every moment).
A love-hate relationship seems to have taken over between yogis and the famous balancing postures.
This is certainly the case for most apprentice yogis for whom balancing postures inspire both a white fear of twisting their neck and conversely the desire to prove themselves.
Don’t you become a “real” yogi when you master the headstand pose?
Of course not !
There is a whole range of balance postures, from the most accessible like the eagle pose to the most acrobatic like the eight-corner pose.
Just this name, which looks like a folding rule, gives us a hard time imagining how a body can fold in 8 places!?
But that's another story.
Stay hopeful! You will end up finding it, this cherished balancing posture, whatever your “level”, degree of flexibility or strength.
The ingredients to make the balance postures sauce are three: strength, concentration and alignment.
To support yourself on a leg, a buttock, a few toes, your arms, your hands or even just your head, you will certainly agree with us to give up improvisation.
Respected alignment simply makes the posture possible.
Strength, for its part, allows us to maintain the posture over time and to adjust any deviations.
Concentration oversees everything and monitors our center of gravity.
Here are some tips for “succeeding” your balance postures. Quotation marks are necessary because in yoga we do not succeed, we always progress.
- Ask a yoga teacher to introduce you to balance postures so you have the basics and can put aside any risk of injury.
- Choose your location carefully before taking off, on a flat, solid surface, possibly close to a wall for support.
- Choose a fixed point to focus your gaze on to help you maintain balance.
To gain more and more confidence in balance postures, there's nothing like practicing yoga every day , even if only for a few minutes!
What are the rewards for balancing postures?
Beyond working on our stability and attention, balancing postures metaphorically give us a sense of inner balance.
The longer they are held, the more calm and soothing they bring us.
Based on the principle that any action carried out on the physical body has repercussions on our emotional and psychological state, balance becomes an inner attitude.
Performing a balancing posture offers us the opportunity to firmly establish ourselves within ourselves, to feel like we belong. These postures make us stronger when life trips us up.
And now, time to practice!
Here are some of our favorite balancing poses, listed in ascending order of difficulty:
1. Tree pose
2. Eagle pose or Garudasana
Behind the eagle asana hides a creature from Hindu and Buddhist mythology, the garuda. King of birds, his body is covered in gold, his wings are red but his face is white and sports an eagle's beak. It is the means of transport of the god Vishnu.
In a standing position, feet hip-width apart, support yourself on your left foot. Bend your knees slightly. The thigh of the right leg comes to rest above the left thigh, the right foot “clings” to the calf of the left leg.
Then wrap your left arm around your right arm, with your left elbow above your right elbow. The palms come together and the elbows bend to bring the hands close to the face.
3. Side plank or Vasishthasana
Starting in plank pose, support yourself on your right hand and, rotating 90 degrees to the left, place the edge of your right foot on the ground. The left foot is placed on the ground in front of the right foot, the left hand stretches towards the sky. The pelvis is lifted.
4. The boat or Paripurna-Navasana
Place yourself in a seated position on the floor, and bring your knees towards your chest, leaning on your buttocks. Stretch your legs upwards then your arms, parallel to the ground, palms facing the sky. Tighten your abs and perineum tightly. If you like this posture, discover here other postures not only for balance but also for opening the heart !
5. Half Moon Pose or Ardha Chandrasana
Supporting yourself on your right foot, with your hand on your left hip, lean sideways until your left leg is parallel to the floor. The left hand then moves towards the sky, the body takes the shape of a T. To add a little difficulty, place your gaze on a point high up on the wall to your left.
6. The Warrior III or Virabhadrasana III
Warrior number three is often performed in a sequence of postures, following the posture of the chair, the tree, warrior number one or two. Supporting yourself on your left leg, swing your right leg backwards, parallel to the ground. The pelvis is turned towards the ground, both arms are extended forward. Fingertips touch.
7. Crow pose or Kakasana
If you want to know more about the 5 main families of yoga postures, this blog article is for you !
And you, what is your favorite balancing posture? Tell us in the comments !
If this type of post interests you, we have written a great article on yoga postures with bird names !
Discover the personal development exercise proposed for the month of June: Cultivate your joy of living !
Discover here our eco-responsible yoga outfits made in France from recycled materials, perfectly suited to practicing all types of yoga!
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Photo credits :
- Rishikesh Yogpeeth
- Yannic Laderach