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Yoga Poses that Improve Balance

Hi. I'm Liz McDonald teaching from my studio Brazilian Yoga and Pilates in Los Angeles. I'm here to show you a couple of poses today to improve balance. So first, we're going to start by working with tree pose. So I'm just gonna start by sitting our way into one leg. I'm gonna start with my left. Very gradually you're going to anchor your vision on to a non-moving point in front of you so definitely not a person. You wanna look at something like a spot on the wall. This will anchor your line of vision and also anchor your central access and that's one of the key things you need to know for any balancing pose. Now, very slowly we're gonna start picking those toes off the ground and lifting the leg. You could stop at any point along this journey. If you feel like that's the point where you are a little bit wobbly, then stay there and start breathing until you get comfortable enough to move on to the next phase. Now, the next phase is to actually swing the knee out and then place the foot anywhere along the standing leg except right on the knee joint. I'm gonna actually take this guy into half lotus pose. So I'm gonna put my foot in front of my leg and then from here, hold tree pose. Now, if you are ready to take up a notch, you can try to actually close the eyes. So just hold it a few seconds at a time and then once you get better at that, you can go for longer and the great thing about that is once you're able to actually close your eyes in a balancing posture, you'll start finding your balance inside you instead of outside you. So we'll try it again on the other side, shifting your weight into your right foot and slowly finding tree. Now, I'm not a big believer in doing everything exactly the same on both sides because we're not completely symmetrical beings. So if you wanna do it a little bit different on that side, that's cool too. Find your tree and once you get a little bit more confident, experiment with closing the eyes. If you wobble a little bit, that's okay. It's just your ankle learning some new lessons and then once you're finished with that, I like to really spice up tree pose by doing it on a block. So I'm gonna take a block. This is about 4 inches wide. If you don't have a block at home, you can use something like a Harry Potter book. So you're gonna place it under your left leg. Get your foot nice and squarely on the block and then slowly experiment by just dangling the leg free. See how much you can let go of that leg. Anchoring your vision on a point in front of you. You are then gonna take the leg up and then try a tree pose. Once you feel comfortable here, you might try to close the eyes and then switch to the other side. Stepping down from the block. Moving your block, landing the foot and then dangling that leg free. This should get you confident. I like the idea of standing on a block and then being able to have fun with the leg moving all over the place because one of the main things that trip us up in balancing poses is the freedom of movement, right? So we don't wanna wobble it all, we wanna cling in onto the pose in one spot but the thing is if we allow ourselves a little bit of natural movement inside the pose... and the rest is easy. Right. So you allow yourself to wobble a little bit. You allow yourself to move a little bit. The sense of balance is something that we look forward inside. So once again, anchoring first with a vision and then once you feel stable here close your eyes. As long as you are comfortable and once you are finished come on down. I'm Liz McDonald teaching from my studio Brazilian Yoga and Pilates in Los Angeles. We just did tree pose in variations. These fall into the category of poses for improving balance which is pretty much anything standing on one leg. Thank you so much for watching.