Asana is the third limb in the 8 Limbs of Yoga from Patanjali’s ‘Yoga Sutras’ and it literally means ‘seat’. The most important and in fact the only description of asana given in the Yoga Sutras is “Sthira Sukham Asanam”, meaning that every asana (yoga pose) should be ‘Steady’ – Sthira and ‘Comfortable’ – Sukha.
Even the simple definition of Asana itself shows the high importance of having a good balance. It is vital to have a good balance, agility, and coordination not just for yoga but for daily chores too. Furthermore, yoga isn’t just talking about having the right balance in the body but also in the mind.
10 Best Yoga Poses For Balance
Balance requires concentration, intention, and the ability to hold on and let go. Thus, practicing yoga poses to improve balance would not just give you that but much more.
1. Virksasana (Tree Pose)
Also known as tree pose, is one of the most fascinating and most practiced yoga poses. Firstly, you need to stand erect, and then slowly, with deep breathing, you need to bring your hands up and do a Namaste pose.
Secondly, you need to keep one of your foot on the level of knee and then settle it on the support of the other. While doing this, you need to make sure to focus your mind on the stature of your foot, your pelvis, and the trunk.
This yoga challenges your nervous system (cerebellum, to be specific) to maintain a precise balance and prevents you from falling, and as I said earlier, focusing on your breath is the key!
2. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
This word “Tadasana” literally means standing still. It might not look like much but this yoga pose followed by deep breathing, can train your mind to notice where your center of gravity lies; thus, making it easier for your body to do other yoga poses.
Furthermore, in people who have a problem in balancing the body due to cerebellum disease or any inner ear disease (like Ménière’s disease), this yoga can be very fruitful.
3. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana (Standing Big Toe Hold)
This yoga can be challenging to some extent, especially for those who do not have a flexible body. However, this yoga teaches us where our body’s stability lies and makes us gain our balance even in most strenuous cases.
Firstly, you need to stand still and take a deep inhalation; you need to hold your foot high up and sideways, trying to make a perpendicular angle with the other foot.
Secondly, exhale slowly, and with other inhalation, try to touch your big toe with the hand of the same side. Keep this posture for a few minutes with long, deep breaths. Remember to keep your focus on your breathing and the pressure of the foot on the ground.
Even if you cannot reach the big toe with the hand, you don’t need to worry as you can take hold of your knee but each time you try this pose, try to stretch a little more, so your body learns to balance, and your mind learns to achieve new goal on daily basis.
4. Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose or Dancer Pose)
This yoga is also known as a dance pose and is one of the yoga which requires strength, focus, and flexibility. You need to perform this yoga as gracefully as if you are a dancer in a stage for dancing.
Moreover, this yoga has a paramount of benefits, and one of them is, it helps you to release stress and calm your mind by decreasing the cortisol in our body. Practicing this yoga regularly can help to improve your balance and posture; additionally, strengthening your legs, hips, and arm muscle.
Firstly, you need to stand erect and then slowly take your left leg back. Secondly, try grabbing your big toe of the left leg with your left hand with the big toe pointing up.
Thirdly, maintain a straight gaze ahead and keep a gentle smile. And oh, yes! Do remember to breathe deep and focus on your breathe!
5. Virabhadrasana III (Warrior Pose 3)
This yoga is not just a single posture-holding- technique, as it consists of a total of 6 different stages. Among all the six postures, Virabhadrasana III is one that is sure to improve your balance and tone up your core muscle. This yoga posture will not only help to improve your balance but also help to position your pelvis right and increase your focus.
To do this yoga, you need to stand erect and slowly make your trunk parallel to the ground with one leg on the ground and one leg horizontally back. Similarly, hands stretched out in the front, in Namaste posture.
6. Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
Rather known as the half-moon- pose is literally like standing by leaning on the wall. But the only minute difference here is that you need to use the floor to lean on, not the wall, and you need to put your hands at 90 degrees to the floor and the other leg at parallel posture.
This pose may look easy, but you need to have a lot of balance to keep up with this pose. Moreover, for people with balance-related severe issues, this yoga could be of great help.
7. Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Can you strive to get a balanced work out without standing? Well, with this chair pose, you sure can! But the only problem is there is no chair, and you won’t be allowed to sit as well. So why is it called a chair pose?
In this posture, you need to pretend as if you are placed in a chair with your arms extended up. Moreover, you need to trust your knees and go low as much as you can.
This yoga not only helps you to gain a proper balance but also help to increase your strength and improve your flexibility.
8. Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
“Garud” literally means eagle, and in this yoga, you are expected to pose like an eagle. It might seem a bit bizarre to a person who is doing this yoga for the first time because it seems like you are twisting your whole body. However, it is just a good way to strengthen your core balance muscle and creating a sense of balance with ultimate focus while doing this pose.
Firstly you need to stand erect and then roll one leg over the other and do the same with your hands while standing. Moreover, this pose is also going to give you a beautiful posture for sure.
9. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose)
Also known as the downward-facing dog, this yoga is one of the parts of Surya Namaskar. Moreover, this yoga is beneficial to strengthen your trunk muscle and also your core muscle for giving you the right balance.
In this yoga, all you have to do is put your feet and your palms in the same level ground, with your trunk high up. Moreover, this yoga is also pretty helpful in improving your metabolism.
10. Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)
Be it yoga to get a good shape, to refreshen your morning mood, to get glowing skin, to improve your metabolism, and to get the right balance, Surya Namaskar is the first thing that comes up in any yogic mind.
Moreover, consisting of 24 steps, this yoga is a whole package that not only helps you to improve your focus but also helps you to get the best of your capabilities that existed in you.
Furthermore, yoga helps to keep you calm and relaxed, but most importantly, it decreases your stress level, so you can focus on the tasks that you are doing. The different poses of yoga do seem troublesome, but the results are fruitful.
Therefore, with yoga poses like these, you will not only improve your physical balance, but your mental and emotional equilibrium will find the right balance as well.