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Yoga Insights

Balancing Poses

I find balancing poses fun. It’s always a challenge to see how well I can balance on a particular day because not all days are the same. Some days it comes easy, other days, it can seem almost impossible to balance for more than a few seconds.

One of the most important things to remember when practicing balancing poses is to feel your connection to the ground before you attempt to balance. Whether you’re doing a standing balance or an arm balance, it’s important to fully surrender your weight into the earth, to feel that support. This gives you a strong base for the pose and enables you to simultaneously feel grounded yet lifted when you come into the balance.

Focus is also essential. Fixing your gaze on a focal point helps to focus your attention so that you can stay balanced. It’s like a subtle tether that helps keep your body stable as you hold the pose. Generally, the closer the focal point, the easier it is to balance. To see what I mean, try this: Stand facing a wall, with your toes about 8 to 12 inches from the wall, and lift one foot into Tree Pose. You may be surprised at how much easier it is! Have fun!

Yoga for Vitality

According to yoga scriptures, we are all eternally youthful: “For the soul there is neither birth nor death, nor having once been, does he ever cease to be.” This explains why we feel young inside, even as the image in the mirror slowly ages. The challenge is to keep our bodies in good shape so that we retain our vitality. Yoga offers us a way to do this. Just consider two of the many things yoga has to offer, diet and exercise.

Your Feet - Your Foundation

We know that a house needs a solid, even foundation for it to stand straight and strong. The same goes for our practice of asanas. Regardless of the position we place our body in, we must be grounded and secure.

In yoga’s many standing poses our feet are our foundation. So it’s important to make sure that this foundation is a solid one. How do we do this? First of all, by bringing our awareness to our feet.

Yoga in the Air

I think of flying as ‘down time’ and actually find it quite relaxing. Think about it. Once you get through the busy airport and are settled in your seat, there’s nowhere to go until you arrive at your destination—no household chores to get through, no phone calls or text, and work is on hold (unless you absolutely have to open your laptop to finish a report or something). It’s actually quite a good time to practice yoga. And there are plenty of simple exercises you can do right there in your seat. You can even meditate.

Banish Fatigue with Yoga Asanas and Breathing

If you find yourself getting tired during the middle of the day, it could be because of dehydration or low blood sugar. Try to be more conscientious about drinking enough water throughout the day, and see if that helps. Or your fatigue may be caused if your blood sugar is low, in which case, of course, you need to eat. Choose complex carbs, vegetables, or protein. Avoid refined sugars because although they can give you a boost for a little while, it’s often followed by a crash, making you just want to lie down for a nap!

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