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Yoga Poses That Improve Balance

Balancing is a learned skill—try the tree pose to become a balancing pro.
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Any pose practiced on one leg is a pose that emphasizes balance. One of the key components of successful balancing poses is finding an anchored line of focus, which will help to anchor your central axis.


Tree pose


  1. Begin by shifting weight onto your left leg.
  2. Anchor your vision on a stationary point of focus, such as a spot on the wall.
  3. When you're ready, slowly pick your right foot up off the ground and lift your right leg.
  4. If you don't feel stable, stay at this step and breathe steadily until you feel ready to move on.
  5. Swing your right knee out in order to open your hips. Place your right foot anywhere along your left leg, except for right at the knee joint. If you like, you can even place your right leg in half-lotus pose, where the right foot rests in the left pelvic crease and the right knee points to the floor at a 45 degree angle.
  6. Inhale to bring palms together in front of your heart.
  7. If you're ready for an additional challenge, close your eyes.
  8. Hold the pose for a few breaths.
  9. When you're ready to exit, release your right leg back to the mat in a controlled way.
  10. Repeat for the other side. If you like, you can come to a slightly different tree pose on your left side than you practiced for your right side.
  11. Variation of tree pose with block


This taller version of tree pose uses a yoga block. If you don't have a block, you can use a large book.


  1. Set the block on your mat so that it's at its lowest height (not on its end).
  2. Step your left foot onto the block and allow your right leg to dangle. Experiment with movement in your right leg.
  3. Anchor your vision on a stationary point in front of you.
  4. When you're ready, take your right leg up and set your right foot along your left leg to come into tree pose.
  5. Once you feel comfortable, close your eyes.
  6. Repeat on the other side.
  7. It's OK to wobble a little bit in balancing poses. In fact, when you allow yourself natural movement in the pose rather than trying to remain completely rigid, the entire posture is easier. When you feel comfortable enough to close your eyes during a balancing pose, don't think of it as giving up your point of focus. Instead, think of it as searching for that focus internally rather than externally.

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