I love yoga poses for balance and created this creative, intermediate balance sequence for you to use at home or in your classes.

 

Intermediate Hatha Yoga Sequence for Better Balance

Hatha Yoga: Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana

In this intermediate Hatha yoga sequence for better balance, Eka Pada Pranamasana — one-legged prayer pose — is the resting pose.

Benefits of Balance Poses

The benefits of yoga poses for balance include:

  • improved posture
  • better muscle coordination
  • enhanced emotional well-being
  • strengthening your leg, abdominal and arm muscles

Contraindications for Balance Poses

If you have certain health conditions, you should consult your physician before doing yoga poses for better balance. Issues that may preclude you from doing balance poses include, but are not limited to:

  • back problems
  • high blood pressure
  • heart problems

Before You Begin…

Before you begin, read the following tips:

  • In this intermediate yoga poses for balance sequence, first perform the poses while balancing on one foot — preferably the right. Then, of course, do the same sequence again while balancing on your other foot.
  • I list the number of breaths per pose for you. However, feel free to hold each pose for 30 to 60 seconds depending on your ability, the ability of your class and how much time you have. Hold the resting pose, Eka Pada Pranamasana, for up to 2 minutes if you like.
  • You can complete this balance series at step 5 and slowly come back to standing. Steps 6 to 14 are optional and meant for a Hatha Flow class or those wanting a dynamic yoga sequence.

Intermediate Hatha Yoga Sequence for Better Balance

Perform this intermediate Hatha yoga sequence for better balance as the final portion of your standing forward bends. When you finish, rest in Shavasana the corpse pose or the resting pose of your choice.

1. Eka Pada Pranamasana – One-Legged Prayer Pose – 3 to 6 Breaths

  • a. Place the sole of your right foot against your left inner thigh, with your heel as close to your perineum as possible.
  • b. Your left knee is straight and your posture erect.

2. Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana – Front or Side – 3 to 6 Breaths

  • a. Exhale and bend your knee into your chest.
  • b. Grasp your right big toe with your right hand using the Yogi Grip and straighten your knee so your foot is in front of you. Now, stand up tall.
  • c. Raise the left arm for balance with your hand in Jnana Mudra – which is basically the “O.K.” hand signal.

3. Eka Pada Pranamasana into Vrikshasana Tree Pose – 3 Breaths

  • a. Come back into Eka Pada Pranamasana.
  • b. Raise your arms next to your ears into an overhead prayer position to get into Vrikshasana tree pose.

4. Eka Padasana – One Foot Pose – As long as possible or 4 to 6 breaths

  • a. Interlace your fingers with palms touching.
  • b. Bend at your hips as you simultaneously raise your right leg behind you.
  • c. In the final pose your left leg is perpendicular to the floor and the rest of your body is in a straight line and parallel to the floor.
  • d. The drishti point – your gaze – is your hands.
  • e. When you have had enough, gracefully bring your foot to the floor and then your arms to your sides so you are in a standing position.

*Come into a standing position and repeat on the other side or follow Step 6 for Hatha Flow.

6. Hatha Flow – Optional

Instead of coming to a standing position, slowly bend at your hips and place your  fingertips on the floor, even with the tips of your toes.

  • a. Inhale and step back your right foot back into Ashawa Sanchalasana – Equestrian Pose.
  • b. Retain your breath and bring your left foot back to meet your right for Plank Position.
  • c. Exhale into Chatarunga Dandasana.
  • d. Inhale into Upward Dog.
  • e. Exhale into Downward Dog.
  • f. Inhale your right foot forward for Ashawa Sanchalasana.
  • g. Exhale your left foot forward and your forehead to your knees for Pada Hastasana.
  • h. Inhale and with a flat back come up to standing with your arms overhead in Hasta Uttanasana.
  • i. Exhale into Pranamasana – Prayer Pose.
  • j. Now, it’s time for the other side.

Details for the asanas featured in Intermediate Hatha Yoga Sequence for Better Balance can be found in Asana, Pranayama, Mudra, Bandha or on the Yoga Journal website.

Photo credit: Dave Rosenblum