The basis of yoga revolves around balance: centering the mind and body in order to achieve harmony within the spirit. This harmony strengthens our consciousness alongside our physique. Although there are many types of yoga exercises to achieve this balance, here are the top three basic balancing yoga poses for the beginning yogi. These exercises will build the foundation you need to begin your own journey.
1. The Side Plank
You may have seen someone utilizing this pose to stretch at the gym, or on TV as a warm-up before sports, and for good reason. The side plank pose allows you to find a grounded center while utilizing many core muscles to keep yourself up. To enter the side plank pose, begin in the standard push-up position with your hands shoulder width apart, arms locked straight, and knees off the ground. Next, slowly shift your weight onto your right arm and right leg. In order to achieve a centered balance, begin pointing your head and chest toward the left side, and slowly lift your left arm straight up into the air. A helpful tip is to also allow your feet to point to the left side as well. Your finished pose will result in your left arm extended and planted on the ground. Your body and legs will also be as straight as can be. Ease yourself back into the push-up position, and follow the same directions on the opposite side.
2. The Handstand
A more advanced pose and great follow-up to the side plank is the handstand. Sometimes finding balance can be frustrating, which is a good tool you can use to practice patience; a very key part of balanced yoga. If this is your first time attempting a handstand, you may want to practice against a solid wall or closed door. Facing the wall, place your hands on the floor shoulder width apart, about two inches away from the wall. Straighten your arms in order to lock them in place. When you’re ready, use your dominant leg to kick up off the ground. Your goal is to have your two hands supporting your body, and your back can safely rest against the wall.
Treat this as time with yourself in silence. Inhale positivity and relaxation, and exhale all negativity. During each pose, take the time to reflect on the past, present and future. Remember that as you discover your physical balance, your mind requires the strength and endurance to find balance as well.