3 Steps for Effective Balance

1554562_649361175149406_3445632067826241937_n

In Yoga Sutra 2.46-48, the Sage Patanjali says that “asana should feel stable, comfortable and be done with effortless effort” in order to help guide us to a deeper connection to our inner consciousness.  Fast forward to the 21st century, we now know that having an understanding of some basic anatomy may prepare us for better balance in our practice.  Did you know that the best designs for stability and balance in nature are found in things with tripod, arches or dome shapes?  Ever wonder why it seems that most four legged tables on uneven surfaces will wobble, compared to three legged ones?  Our feet are well designed for many functions,  two of which are movement and weight bearing. A huge component for these is, of course, balance.

Let’s consider three shapes:

  • a tripod provides stability against downward forces and horizontal forces and movements about horizontal axes.  Let’s experiment; sit and take a look at the sole of your foot.  The ball of the big toe, the ball of the little toe and the heel bone forms a tripod.  These are your main three points of contact into a surface when standing.  Now, stand and lift your toes and press into those three points of contact.  Notice the stable feeling coming from your foot.

0001al

  • The foot has three distinct arches; two longitudinal arches, one on each side which run from front to back, and one transverse arch running across the midfoot from inside to outside, which are also essential for both movement and weight bearing

          

Screen Shot 2017-08-30 at 2.56.48 PM

 

  • Each foot is made up of a series of small bones and parts with multiple joints, likened to a dome. When you stand with the feet touching in tadasana, the arches of both feet create a full dome shape.

Ready to balance with deeper knowledge and awareness?  Apply these 3 steps in all of your standing balance poses:

  1. Position your feet in the asana/pose, lift the toes and connect to the tripod points of the feet under the big toe and little toe mound and the center of the heel bone.  Feel the downward/apana energy grounding you.

    
IMG_20170819_081601   IMG_20170819_081620

  1. Bring awareness to the arches of the feet and draw the upward energy/prana from the arches through the legs, pelvic floor, and spine all the way through the crown of the head, lightly firming of the muscles of the legs, bum and core.
  2. Set your gaze/drishti softly on one point of focus.  Stay connected to the sensations of the body and the rhythm of your breath.  Encourage the breath to be deep, smooth, even, quiet and continuous.

rsz_img_20170819_082301

You may have been instructed in some traditional classes to connect to the four parts of the feet; the front, the sides and the back, but this instruction does not support the anatomy and effective balance. With a better understanding of anatomy, applying these simple steps to all standing asanas should help to improve balance during your practice.

Namaste
MitSukha
Bliss|Ease|Wellbeing

Please feel free to send me an email at info@yoga.gd and let me know your experience or if you have any questions. To receive more information on a Yoga and Meditation practice and this sequence please sign up to our newsletter.

I have been practicing and teaching Yoga & Meditation for over a decade. Join me for one of the following events: Eco Yoga and Meditation tour,  200/300hr Hatha Vinyasa Yoga teacher training, wellbeing Yoga vacation Retreats and workshops.


Categories: Uncategorized

Post Your Thoughts