The following three yoga poses are intense balance poses. These are challenging and sometimes intimidating balance poses. With dedication and practice you will surprise yourself…
How to find balance
While practicing these balance poses, and going deeper into them, try to move away from a balanced position toward an unbalanced position of the body. In the “unbalance”, try to control the body, mind and breathing in order to find balance.
Once you’ve found balance, move away from the balanced position again. Continue like this. Note: Try to do this slowly and stay connected with your breathing.
Start by standing upright with your arms at your sides and your feet together. Place your hands in prayer at your heart centre. Find balance on your left foot.
Place the sole of your right foot against the side of your left ankle, calf or thigh, toes pointing straight down. Lift your hand above your head and try to look at your thumbs or maybe even close your eyes. Hold tree pose for three to five breaths. Repeat on the other side.
Start by standing upright with your arms at your sides and your feet together. Place your hands in prayer at your heart centre. Find balance on your left foot. Bend your right knee and bring your right heel closer to your bum. Reach the right hand to the right foot right with palm open (thumb pointing up).
Hold the inside of your right foot with your right hand tightly. Your thumb stays pointing up, your right shoulder is ‘open’ (externally rotated) and you hold on the ‘big-toe-side’ of the right foot. Reach actively forward and up with your left hand while you kick your right foot into the right hand. Deepen the Dancer’s Pose by reaching forward even more and kicking even harder. Repeat on the other side.
Start in Malasana. Try to widen your feet until the heels are flat on the floor and place your arms on the inside on the knees. Malasana is a challenging pose by itself because flexibility of the hips is needed. You can also squat a little higher and place the knees on the back of the triceps instead of to the side if that’s a bit easier.
Place your hands shoulder-width apart on the floor. Spread your fingers as much as possible and feel the whole palm and back of the fingers touching the floor. Start to move the weight of your body towards your hand. Look forward! All the weight is in your hands. Lift one toe, then lift the other toe, and hold the Crow Pose as long as you want.
Joelle Sleebos is a yoga teacher who offers various yoga classes, from yin to FLY and Vinyasa, at myUTOPIA and runs yoga retreats in SA and abroad. Sign up for a class at myUTOPIA – check out the schedule (they offer everything from aerial yoga to Pilates, Kundalini, Vinyasa and more) and pick your flavour.