Find balance in tree poseSep 27, 2022
#treepose #balance #strength #confidence #mindfulness
Yoga is not about practicing your defined poses. It’s about what your body learns, how nimble and flexible you become, and what experience you gain throughout the process. — Debasish Mridha
Balance with Tree Pose
For many years, I did a tree pose where ever I went. I liked doing tree pose and felt a little more connected to where I was. In the snow, on a fallen tree, behind my bicycle, on a fishing boat…it just seemed like fun or my trademark. Interesting that I was also working on my balance at the same time. I’ve gone through some of the pictures wondering if I automatically brought one knee up versus the other. You know how when you sit cross-legged you usually put one leg in front naturally? Or when you interlace your fingers, you naturally go for one thumb on top versus the other?
How’s your balance? Do you want to work on it? Tree pose is a great way to strengthen the muscles you need to balance. You can try tree pose next to a chair or wall for starters. Change the surface you are standing on to make it harder, like your mat, grass, sand, snow, or an uneven surface. *Tip – keep your stabilizing hip pulled in towards your midline. (Don’t let your hip jut out to the side).
Your eyes and ears play a part in your balance. Try closing your eyes to see how difficult balancing becomes. You can practice focusing on different fixed points around you to change your perspective.
Proprioception is the way your body feels in the space that surrounds it. This awareness also impacts your balance. Being aware of your environment brings you to the present moment, but also alerts you to situations that need your balance to keep you from falling.
Don’t judge yourself! If you don’t practice balance, you won’t make progress!
Core strength increases your balance and stability. Think of your muscles between your shoulders and your hips as a cylinder shape around your body. Strengthen your abdominal muscles and your back muscles. Cat/cow is a good way to engage and release these muscles. Also try locust or superman and planks (your way on hands or forearms, toes or knees – don’t sag your hips!)
Muscles in your lower body help you balance. You will want to strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves. Squats or deadlifts help strengthen these muscles. From the floor, bridges and donkey kicks help too.
Practicing standing on one leg challenges your balance. *Tip – remember not to lock your knee. Standing on one foot helps increase ankle muscle strength and stabilize knee muscles. You could try standing on one leg lifting the other knee and holding for 30 seconds. Lunges and step ups shift your weight from one leg to the other.
If you waver and fall out of your pose – think of how you are catching yourself safely without falling. Practicing falling out of a pose helps you develop a “go to” to catch yourself if you actually start to fall for real.
I’m wondering when you feel more balanced physically (because you use much of your body and mind to do so), will you have an easier time bringing the rest of your life into balance? What are your thoughts?
#treepose #practice #balance #health #breath
You are amazing! You are a unique individual with a gift to share with the world. Remember - you are worthy! You are enough.
All my best,
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About Nancy Whitman
Nancy Whitman is a certified yoga therapist (C-IAYT), yoga teacher, and author. She specializes in empowering you to improve your well-being. Nancy is registered with the Yoga Alliance as ERYT-500 and is certified through ACE as a personal trainer, health coach, and fitness instructor. She has a Master's degree in Education, MaEd.
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