Yoga involves a lot of balance poses, which provide beneficial real-world advantages to people. Balancing helps us in evolving both mentally and physically and gives us an intelligent focus and the power to manage the unavoidable wobbles that crop up in our daily lives. Balancing helps us in gaining confidence and a healthy mind to handle the obstacles of life. This skill is very crucial, and you must challenge it to enhance it. This will also aid you to become a certified and the best yoga instructor online.
Here are Some Basic Practices Applicable To Stability Practices and Poses.
The deep stabilizers in our body are the small muscles that create a delicate engagement near the bone and support our joints. This further helps in coordinating various parts of the body to move together or to stand. The stabilizers in our body are:
The lateral hip has a glutes medius, which is also essential support when you stand on a single leg. This is because it accommodates the position of the pelvis as per the position of the standing leg.
The core muscles refer to the muscles that connect the spine and pelvis. The basic muscles it comprises are the deepest back muscles, deepest, abdominal layer, quadratus lumborum that gives lateral support on both the sides of the lumbar spine and the iliopsoas that links the pelvis and spine to each thigh bone.
These muscles are the ones that coordinate the trunk and arms mainly when we bear some weight on our arms. These muscles are the rhomboids and serratus anterior and the muscles of the rotator cuff.
All these muscles work ideally to coordinate the lower and upper body and provide firm support to the whole body while balancing.
To perform any yoga pose, the base quality must be excellent; only then your yoga pose will be sturdy. You must have observed it is not easy to balance correctly with our shoes on and doing tasks like – rising to tiptoes, cannot stand on one leg, transit from one posture to the other, etc. The reason is that there is improper sensory awareness in the feet, and we cannot balance our bodies. It is essential to learn to balance on arms and gives a thoughtful awareness about our arms, hands, and shoulders as well. A necessary mindful connection with our base will make us more stable and will endow us to face the fluctuations of life.
Drishti is all about ‘focus’ and refers to where we focus our eyes, senses, and energy. It is surprising to know that eyes play a vital role in balancing and is also a primary method of maintaining a stable relationship with our surroundings. By merely altering your Drishti, you can offset even the challenging yoga poses.
Balancing enhances our capability of learning anything. Like during childhood, we used training wheels to learn to balance, similarly in yoga, we gradually learn and stretch according to our current abilities and grow with time. For example, if you are trying to learn to live one foot to the inner thigh to make a tree pose, you may fall out of the pose immediately. So, in the beginning, you can use the wall and take support with your fingertips or keep the toes of your lifted foot on the floor. This way, your nervous system, and muscles will gradually learn to maintain an equilibrium and help you handle more challenging poses henceforth.
The very popular “Hatha Yoga” teaches how to control the breath because, with the unsteady breath, the mind will wander, whereas when your breath is steady, the mind will become calm too. This practice works on a delicate balance between ease and effort. Usually, when we are trying to maintain stability, we hold our breath, and when we lose breath, it shows that we are struggling very hard or being rigid rather than being stable. We can only find physical and mental equilibrium when we let go of the attachment to a pose.
How To Maintain Balance Effectively?
Now we know what all is essential for yoga balancing poses – determining your current capability, connecting to the base and stabilizer muscles, controlling Drishti and breath, etc. But, learning balancing as a skill is much more to this knowledge. The more we challenge our balance, the more it will improve. Balancing does not mean just standing on a single leg for a long time; there is much more to it. Once, you practice the balance effectively, and you are also nearer to obtaining the Best Yoga Teacher Training in India. Let’s learn how to create options for balancing.
Challenge Your Base
You can challenge the balance by playing with your base and changing the way your base connects to the floor. The moment we change our foundation, the rest of the body reacts accordingly to maintain position and balance. These are the ways to achieve this:
Destabilize the Base –
Try destabilizing your base by practicing yoga on a carpet or an uneven surface, like a wobbly base. This practice helps in creating awareness in the minds and offering strength to small and unused muscles of ankles and feet. Try using foam blocks or folded blankets for the base. These challenging stability poses will make you more strong.
Reduce Floor Contact –
More the surface area of contact with the base, ore the stability. Lesser contact area will offer less stability, which means the stabilizer muscles will have to work more. You can achieve this by doing tiptoes and will let you do poses like goddess pose, warrior pose, chair pose, etc. You can also try the four-point poses like shifting from plank pose to side plank. Try bird dog pose, downward-facing dog, dolphin, etc. These poses will increase your stability by reducing contact with the floor.
Balance with Arms and Hands –
Feet balancing is usual, but balancing on our arms and hands demands expertise and skill. The joints of our shoulders are mobile and thus give a stable base to support the rest of the body. This practice requires awareness of the body and mindful attention. To further enhance motor control, you can try the headstand or handstand.
Irrespective of the balancing pose we are performing, whether it is a tiptoe or a headstand, what we learn during the process is the main lesson. It tells us life, just like yoga, does not come with ideal situations.
Drishti plays a vital role in increasing or decreasing stability. For example, to make a challenging pose like a half-moon, you can focus your Drishti on the wall in the front or on the floor, whereas to make a triangle pose you can concentrate the Drishti towards the ceiling, or you can close your eyes. Whether we close our eyes or move our gaze, we enhance the sense of proprioception, thus depend less on external focus and concentrate on the inner focus or Drishti.
It is very crucial to maintain balance during transitions like while biking, running, going up and down the stairs, etc.
Practice Unaccustomed Transitions –
The neuromuscular pathways help us to respond to unexpected changes, like tripping, slipping, etc. When you incorporate such transitions while doing yoga, you can control the way these pathways work between body and mind. You can try half moon on the right foot while your right-hand rests on the floor, then try to sweep the left leg in parallel to the mat’s shorter edge and make an L shape. Then return.
Move on Hurdles –
It is like working on an unstable base. If you move around or practice around obstacles, you can connect the link between yoga and real life. You can make use of yoga blocks and try toe-tap sideways over the block, step backward over the block from the chair and make a warrior pose, etc.
Gentle and Slow –
When our movements are slow and steady, our deep stabilizers awaken and work on the low-twitch fibers. This practice boosts fine motor coordination and control.
There are numerous benefits of balancing yoga poses, both physically and mentally. So, start practicing these so that you can face the challenges of life with ease and grace. This will make you more creative and stable in the real world. Challenge yourself and strive; you will surely achieve success.