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Challenge Your Sense of Balance

Many people take up Yoga as a way to relax, reduce stress and bring a sense of inner calmness. For me, balancing poses are the most effective at reducing the stresses of life because they require all my attention and focus, that I am forced to forget about everything else. Staying in the pose and not falling requires all your effort and concentration. Once you release the pose, you feel an amazing wave of relief and contentment.

Here are some of my favorite balancing poses. Some of them solely challenge your sense of balance, and others also challenge your strength and flexibility. Just click on the name of the pose to learn how to get into them.

Sanskrit Name: Bakasana
English Translation: Crane Pose
Also Called: Crow
Sanskrit Name: (beginner's) Vasisthasana
English Translation: Sage Pose
Also Called: Side Plank

Want to see the others? Then

Sanskrit Name: Bakasana
English Translation: Half Moon Pose
Also Called:
Sanskrit Name: Upavishta Konasana
English Translation: Seated Angle Pose
Also Called: Balancing Wide Legs
Sanskrit Name: Baddha Hasta Sirsasana B
English Translation: Bound Hands Headstand Pose
Also Called: Double Arm Headstand
Sanskrit Name: Pincha Mayurasana
English Translation: Feathered Peacock Pose
Also Called: Forearm Stand
Sanskrit Name: Garudasana
English Translation: Eagle Pose
Also Called: Eagle
Sanskrit name: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana A
English translation: Extended Hand to Big Toe Pose
Also called: Standing Hand to Big Toe A
Join The Conversation
susanec susanec 9 years
One thing that can help for balance poses like eagle is to stretch your feet beforehand with a theraband (maybe this is just me and my messed up, nerve damaged feet. I used to dance). But it definitely makes a difference for me and makes my old injuries happier. Just flex and pointe through the band for a couple minutes, really working the feet.
thatgirljj thatgirljj 9 years
UrbanBohemian, Lily314's suggestions are great. You might also want to try shifting your weight forward into your heart/chest while keeping your elbows and forearms aligned over your wrists. If your shifting your weight forward through your shoulders or upper back rather than your heart, you may be putting extra strain on your wrists. Jeez, it's really hard to describe how to do that one!!! The balance sure is tricky.
Martini-Rossi Martini-Rossi 9 years
I've attempted the first three! Boy are they hard. the side planks rrrrrreaaalllyy kill me. :(
tati33 tati33 9 years
omg the poses on the arms or headstands seem nearly impossible for me..I can barely stand on one foot with my eyes closed :(
alillee alillee 9 years
is there a good book you can buy with all these poses and more in it?
lily314 lily314 9 years
UrbanBohemian - try bracing your knees on your upper arms, as close to your armpits as possible, and squeeze. Also, spread out your fingers wide and press them hard into the floor so your weight is distributed throughout your hands, not just your palms, which strains your wrists.
lily314 lily314 9 years
Oh, Bakasana ... one day, you will be mine. By the way, FitSugar - Half Moon Pose is Ardha Chandrasana.
UrbanBohemian UrbanBohemian 9 years
Man, Crow is so hard! The position gets to my wrists for some reason. I can do a baby crow by just lifting one leg, but that's as far as I can go right now.
thatgirljj thatgirljj 9 years
Ugh. Balance is my demon. I can do many of the arm balancing poses, but try to balance on one leg and I turn into the world's biggest klutz. Eagle pose in particular is a DISASTER. I guess we all have our Waterloo...
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