Hey, anyone else get frustrated with not progressing with balance? I try just to take it one day at a time and focus on the little victories, but i’m finding that I constantly have a hard time with balances. I practice yoga everyday (with the occasional day off) and you can find me practicing poses like tree pose and dancers pose in my kitchen while cooking dinner I think I have a mental block. When I am about to do a class that I know is balance heavy I actually start to get anxious. I’m not sure how to get past this. I’m not expecting anyone to really have advice, just needed to vent a bit, but I would feel better if I knew I wasn’t the only one.
you’re definitely not the only one! I have ‘good days’ and ‘not so good days’ with my balances. Sometimes, it’s as much about how centred i feel that particular day, others I can balance well on one way, but struggle more on the other. I know that when I’m feeling particularly ‘unbalanced’ I’ll just take things back to a more basic form of the pose, for example tree (Vriksasana), I’ll revert back to heel of the bent leg above the ankle of the standing leg, focusing more on the opening along the inside of the bent leg, strong/grounded in standing leg, hips aligned, chest open, soft gaze, then if that feels good, I’ll progress to bottom of foot against the calf of the standing leg, again focusing on that opening in the bent leg and strength in the standing leg.
Yes, definitely notch with any balance pose you are struggling with. Take you time. Also, try focusing on feeling your supporting limb pressing into the floor. This helps stabilize you. This force helps me be more solid especially in Bird of Paradise pose as well as any pose.
You are not alone! I remember going to yoga class with my mother as a child and mum saying I had to keep my eye on one spot. Now I’m nearly 50 and still can’t stand on one foot without flailing everywhere. I have small feet and skinny ankles but broad, heavy shoulders. I think my body is not capable of balancing despite all the mental focus on a drishti point, so I usually have a chair at hand.
This is great feedback, thank you.
Balance is one of those things that is improved upon pretty much solely through repetition, since the muscles in the legs need to be worked to exhaustion over and over again in order to achieve the strength and stability that is needed to improve.
We may create a program around this. What would you think about a 15 minute routine that focuses on improving balance, that you can do on its own or as a part of a longer practice?
Great idea David! I have found that even since I wrote this original post that practicing on an almost daily basis has already greatly improved my balance! That’s only 2 months!
I can relate to this also, I find balance easy on my right side but standing on my left leg I find it much more difficult. However I have found this has improved with time and it also depends on my confidence on that day - when I feel like I can do it I generally do much better. I’d love classes focusing on improving balance.
Fantastic! That’s really great to hear.
I’d also say, choose where your focus goes. If you start to feel anxious and your head is filled with thoughts of “Oh, I can’t balance” or “I’m no good at this” then it will be difficult for your body and practice to show you how well balanced you actually have the ability to be. Be gentle with yourself and let it flow a little more - the less anxious and clouded your thinking, the more you have a chance of surprising yourself. Find your inner balance and still spot first, then let that flow out to the asana.
Actually that’s something I’ve recently learnt too. I now think balance poses are more about meditation than anything else. Practice meditation more and balance poses improve because when your mind is clear and focused you are balanced and that comes through in the physical body.
I find that I am most successful in balance poses when the instructor surprises me with a different entrance into the pose. I guess that proves that my own perception of my abilities is a big part of what holds me back.