As we age, balance training becomes so important. It can build strength and stability, plus it can help reduce the risk of injury from falling. One thing I love about yoga is that it’s a great way to train balance. So let’s discuss 8 yoga poses to improve balance for beginners. From chair or wall assisted to freestanding!
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8 Yoga poses to improve balance
One pose that I include in my practice as a balance test is a high crescent lunge. It’s a simple pose that challenges strength and stability. The longer the distance front to back the more of a challenge this will be! Arm variations include: both hands on the chair, floating one hand, and eventually lifting both arms up.
Next up is big toe pose, but with a bent leg variation. Typically this pose has the lifted leg extended, and you hold onto the big toe (hence the name). Instead, hold the knee of the bent leg. Then work on arm variations here for balance.
Star pose is fun, and as such great for beginners. This is a yoga pose that’s easier to do with the chair in front of you so you don’t need to move the chair. I’ve been having a lot of fun lately with this pose in my yoga practice, try it! What’s also fun is my “Do More Yoga” t-shirt. If you’re interested in getting your own you can buy one on Amazon. They come in more colors too! I have black, red, and white.
Probably the most common balance pose in yoga is tree pose. There are three leg positions shown in the video, and each of these can be done with or without the chair. My advice is to work on the balance with the toe-down variation first and work up. Just because you can get the foot to the thigh with the chair, doesn’t mean you can balance there freestanding!
Next up on our list of 8 yoga poses to improve balance is warrior 3. Yoga poses can be done in many ways and warrior 3 is a great example of that. Using the hands on the chair is a simple balance assist. Then working up to one hand lifted, and then both.
While upward salute on tiptoes doesn’t look that challenging, holding it most definitely is! Looks can definitely be deceiving. Again, you can use the chair for a little assist, working up to freestanding.
Dancer’s pose is another pose that has a few different variations. Using the chair, or not one thing I suggest is trying the pose two ways. One way is to hold the same side hand to foot. The second is to hold the opposite side hand to foot. Same pose, but the balance gets challenged slightly differently.
Our final asana for the 8 yoga poses to improve balance is a challenging one, with standing pigeon pose. Also called figure four squat. For this pose, I suggest having the standing leg furthest away from the chair to give you the most support from the chair. This one is a challenge so go slowly with working on the hands leaving the chair!
What other poses would you add to these 8 yoga poses to improve balance? Balancing is something we can do in most positions, but for standing poses, these are my top eight. Try them in your next yoga practice.
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- How is your general balance?
- Do you struggle with balance in your yoga practice?
- Which pose seems the most challenging for you?