Tips for your Yoga practice

Did you ever wonder if there was a trick to getting into some of those more difficult positions? There are no tricks, but there are usually some things you can do to bring you closer to completing the pose.

 

Drishti: a gaze or point of focus

Most students know that the best way to stay balanced in a pose is to find a stable point in front of them to focus on, but they are sometimes surprised to find out that during a standing balance pose you can't use the same focal point when you switch to pose on the other foot.

Using the Tree pose (Vrksasana) as an example if you are staring up at a place on the wall while balancing on your right foot, when you shift to balance on your left foot you will need to shift your focal point to the side to have the best balance for your body.

It is best to find your drishti as you begin to balance, instead of forcing your eyes on a specific spot find the spot your eyes go to when you are in your most balanced state... and remember look UP, you never see an athlete or dancer staring at the floor when they are moving or balancing... your gaze should follow your lead hand.

 

Keys to Balance

Balance is something that even I struggled with, until I went to two balance seminars in San Francisco and after hearing a dancer analyse balance for two hours and a Yogi analyse balance for an hour and a half I finally felt educated enough to share the key tips to balance with my students.

The most important part of balance is a strong stable core.
TRY THIS: Stand in mountain, straighten your back, roll your shoulders back, stick your chest out, squeeze/tighten your stomach & glutes. Raise your right knee up. Actively squeezing your stomach and glutes...
-Now relax your stomach and let your shoulders slump forward...
-Now roll the shoulders back stick the chest out and begin squeezing the stomach and glutes as tight as you can.
-Feel the difference in your balance?

Being balanced when done properly is an active pose working many unseen muscles. Realizing and focusing on this and even you can balance in Warrior III on a tilted, round, unstable fallen tree in the middle of the forest.

 

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Samantha balancing in
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior 3)
on an unstable fallen tree
on a Wilderness Yoga Hike at Mt Rose