A page to pay tribute to the best yoga balance poses and my love of yoga in general. I’ve practised for almost 15 years, sometimes frequently, other times more on and off. I’ve done Hatha, Vinyasa Flow and Iyengar styles and right now I’m doing Hot Yoga – as I talk about starting out in this post.
I have recently graduated from 200hr yoga teacher training at Fireshaper Australia – and have just started some teaching. I’m loving it.
You might also enjoy this post where I talk about what I call the ‘yin and yang of yoga’.
Here are some of my posts: 4 reasons why anyone of any age can teach (or learn) yoga, How to turn your yoga practice into a gratitude meditation, 5 reason why yogis make great friends, How yoga ‘play’ can help your child at school , Do yoginis make better mothers?, 10 tips for fitting yoga into a busy schedule, 10 tips to live simply and still have nice things, and Find your Balance – let go AND let in.
Meantime my first favourite balance pose is one of the most well known – Tree pose (Vriksasana).
The tree is an important symbol in Hindu mythology standing for stability and a connection with Mother Earth. Trees are associated with inner growth and self-realisation.
I love trees – the way they bend in the breeze (go with the flow if you like) rather than resist. Yet they are strong because they are rooted in the ground. Trees are always growing, changing, balanced between earth and sky.
The tree pose stimulates the First (root), second and third chakras, with the sixth (third eye centre) used to find your drishti (balance point).
You begin in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) which strongly grounds you to the earth. Then you slowly bring the sole of your right foot to the inner left thigh while focusing on your balance point on the ground ahead. You press the sole of the foot and the inner thigh equally against each other to provide counterbalance. Drop the right hip down to lengthen the right waist and press the right kneee out and down, to start to straighten the leg and open out the front of the pelvis.
Then slowly bring the arms out to shoulder height and then up overhead. Draw the lower ribs back and down to lengthen the lower back, while lengthening up through the crown of the head and focusing your eyes forward. Lengthen through the fingertips and draw the arms back and down, relaxing the shoulder blades. Then straighten the standing leg further by lifting the kneecap so that you feel like you are grounding more deeply into the earth.
With each inhalation draw the energy of the earth up the standing leg and allow the whole body to lengthen (and grow as though you are a tree). Relax with each exhalation. Hold the balance (don’t worry if you wobble a little) and continue breathing. Then of course you need to repeat the asana on the other leg.
You might also want to check out my series on our chakras, starting here.
Finally, if you want a bit of a laugh you might like to watch my short little video demonstrating the idea that balance requires wobbling!
With yoga it always about working with your body and your mind, at your own level – no competition. As one of my yoga teachers is fond of saying “it’s yoga practice, not yoga perfect”.