Despite being an athlete who sweats it out nearly every day, you still find yoga difficult to perform. If you’re an avid exerciser, you’ll most likely have tight and firm muscles, which is all fine. However, your muscular body is an obstacle in yoga, since it is less flexible and can give you a hard time balancing on some poses. That’s not to say you should abandon yoga completely – even the most experienced yogis have difficulty in balancing from time to time.
Let’s take a look at a few methods to perfect your balance and avoid toppling over every time you try for a balancing yoga pose.
Don’t lock your standing leg
Some yoga moves require you to balance on one leg while moving the rest of your body. It may seem like a good idea to get your base leg as straight as possible. But when you lock it straight, you’re no longer engaging your muscles – you’re putting bone on bone. The best way to increase balance is to put a tiny bend in your standing leg. Keep engaging your quadriceps, and this will help give you the power to stabilize your balance.
Attempting a difficult yoga pose can be intense – so much so that it forces you to hold your breath. But breathing actually helps when it comes to balancing, since the quality of your breathing is so intimately related to the state of your nervous system and body. It releases physical tension and relaxes your mind, allowing you to stay calm and focus better when performing yoga poses. So make sure you keep a consistent breathing flow in and out of your nose.
Calm your mind
Yoga aims to unite the mind and body. In order for the balance to be there in a pose, you need to calm your mind. If your mind is distracted by what happened before class, or all the things you have planned for afterwards, it won’t be able to focus on balancing in the moment. Find a nice, quiet spot to meditate for a few minutes before your class in order to restore your mind’s focus. A determined mind gives you a better chance to ease into your yoga practice and maintain your body balance.
Take it slowly
All too often, people rush into poses and then get frustrated when they can’t maintain their balance and end up falling over. There are simple ways to fix this. You should start building balance from the foundation up by moving slowly and mindfully without rushing. Distribute your weight evenly to all your body parts. Spread your toes to give a wider, stronger balance. Whatever you do, don’t rush things! Whether you had too little to sleep or are dehydrated – all these factors add up. Don’t push yourself too hard – simply do your best and move on.
Looking to add yoga to your exercise program? Contact us today and our trainers will be more than happy to help guide you in the right direction.