Practice Balance: Clear Your Mind

Staying in a balanced frame of mind is often difficult in the midst of our fast-paced daily lives.  It is important to connect deeply with your body to gain a sense of how you are feeling both internally and externally.  Some days, the most effective way to build strength is through acceptance of exactly where you are in the moment.  The union of breath and movement allows us to experience the concept of balance.

Take a few days a week to just “be.”  Explore these poses to create a sense of balance in your busy life.

 

1. Eagle Pose1eagle

• Stand tall.  Bend both knees and lift left foot over right thigh or shin, touching toe to floor if balance is compromised.

• Bring arms forward, crossing right arm over left.

• Ensure palms of hands are touching.

• Focus eye gaze to one spot.

• Release tension in shoulders.

• Lift fingertips upward and hold for a few deep breaths.

• Gently unwind, relax and switch sides.

 

2. Standing Hip Opener with Arm Extension2hip-open

• From standing, bend right knee and bring outside of left ankle on top of right thigh.

• Flex left foot.

• Balance and actively press left knee toward floor to deeply stretch hips.

• Lift hands forward and reach to give the spine a great stretch.

• Hold for 5 deep breaths, release and switch sides.

 

3. Warrior III3warrior

• Stand tall, feet hip distance apart with arms resting along sides of body.

• Bend right knee over right ankle so shin is perpendicular to floor.

• Raise arms over head.

• Press weight into right foot.

• Lift left leg as you lower the torso.

• Hinge at hips as you bring body parallel to ground.

• With arms extended, reach forward, brace core and tighten gluteus and legs, creating a long, straight spine.

• Hold for 5 deep breaths.

 

4.  Triangle Pose4triangle

• Stand with legs 3 feet apart and turn right toes to right wall and left toes slightly inward.

• Press left hip out and to left as you slide arms to right, parallel to floor.

• Lift left arm upward and rest right hand against right leg. Palms face upward.

• Hold for 3 to 5 deep breaths and release.

 

5.  Tree Pose5tree

• Fix eye gaze on a stationary object to maintain focus.

• Raise left leg, slowly lift left toes off the ground and bend knee to 90 degrees.

• Open left hip so left knee is pointing towards the left wall.

• Place sole of left foot on upper right thigh.

• Bring hands to the heart, press into palms and lift overhead.  If you struggle with balance, keep hands pressed to heart and left toe to the floor.

• Gradually try lifting toes higher until you achieve full tree pose.

• Hold for a few breaths and try on opposite side.

 

6. Intense Pose6intense

• Stand tall with soles of feet grounded to the floor.

• Bend knees deeply, keeping knees firmly pressed together.

• Lift arms overhead and sink lower into pose.

• Actively brace core, reach as high as you can and squeeze thighs together.

• Hold this move for 1 to 5 minutes.  Breathe deeply and focus.

 

Apparel provided by Basics Swim & Gym:
Alo Yoga Westerly Bra Top in Black Glossy, $52; Desigual print Capri, $80; Simbi Clay bracelets, handmade in Haiti by a clean water cooperative, $29 each

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