How Yoga Improves Balance
Written by Jill Paschal.
Yoga is an ancient practice for the health and vitality of the body and soul. It includes a series of poses called Asanas which includes monitored breathing practices and regulations. There are many of poses for one to try and one can move up the difficulty ladder by joining certain postures together and holding it for a while.
It is also worth mentioning that daily practice of these poses can bring a wealth of personal satisfaction which, of course is just another benefit of practicing this ancient and widespread routine.
Yoga is a science, and has been proven to have enormous health benefits, including:
- Muscle and bone health
- Cardiovascular and prevention of heart disease
- Increasing the longevity of life
- Developing balance skills that help avoid falls as we age.
- Meditation to soothe the soul and give one focus and clarity of mind.
- Pain relief
- Weight loss
- Alertness, concentration and focus
- And many more
There are plenty of poses which aid in improving balance. These are usually standing Yoga poses. One of them is chair pose; the knees are bent and the body is bent slightly forward. A more difficult version from this pose is eagle pose or Garudasana. In this, one leg wraps around the other one in the bent position. After balance is attained, the arms too wrap around each till the palms face each other and touch. Hold this pose for up to slow five breaths. Although this pose may seem difficult, it can reap enormous rewards in the long run. It exercises many body parts, increases concentration and improves balance.
Additional Poses for Balance
The next asana for yoga balance is tree pose which many are familiar with. It includes bringing one leg up the inner thigh of the other, preferably without the use of hands and joining the palms together in front of your body.
Another variant has the hands stretched upward and the palms touching there.
Whichever version you try, you should to hold the position for 10 seconds or five breaths, whichever is more. This not only improves balance but also gives you flexibility and agility. The thigh muscles are also exercised and core strength is built.
No balance exercise is complete without attempting any of the three poses mentioned below:
One is king dancer pose or Natarajasana where one stretches both hands and legs on an outward position and retains the balance, while targeting the core muscles or arms, hips, belly, and thighs.
Another version of this is Warrior III pose which though requiring less balance, works more on the core muscles.
The last is standing splits where the body and hands are bent forward trying to touch the ground and then the foot followed with the knee, but having one leg up in the air.
Needless to say, all the poses above require practice and patience and the proper guidance from a qualified yoga teacher. Practicing yoga on a regular basis can improve balance that will serve you in everyday life. Remember, while attempting the various poses (asanas), remember to go slow and to watch your breath.
You can visit Jill Paschal's website at www.jillpaschalyoga.com.
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