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Balancing Series

Dec 7th, 2011

Garland Pose

  • With your hands at heart center in Prayer Position, stand with your heels on the outer edges of the mat and your toes off the mat. Squat down as low as you can, trying to keep your heels on the floor.
  • Separate your thighs slightly wider than your torso. As you exhale, lean your torso forward and fit it snugly between your thighs.
  • Press your elbows against your inner knees and resist the knees into the elbows. This will help lengthen your front torso.
  • Try to keep the spine long and the knees over the feet to protect the ankles.

Crane Pose

  • Place your hands shoulder-width apart in front of your feet, palms flat, fingers facing forward. Squat down and bring your knees into your armpits; your shins should be flush against your triceps.
  • As you shift your weight into your arms, stack your elbows over your wrists. Lift your hips and gaze forward.
  • Come to the tips of your toes, and then lift one foot off the floor at a time.
  • Engage your abdominal core.

Tree Pose

  • Spread the toes wide on the standing leg, like the roots of a tree; lift up through the arch of the foot.
  • Bend the opposite knee, placing the foot on the ankle, calf, or inner thigh of the standing leg; avoid placing your foot on the knee.
  • Hands can be in prayer position at the heart, or extended up to the sky for a greater challenge.
  • Gaze at one non-moving point of focus to maintain balance; breathe deeply for at least 5 breaths.
  • Switch legs

Dancer's Pose

  • Bring your left arm high with your palm facing forward. Bend your right knee behind you and grip the inside of foot with the right hand, thumb facing back. Bring your knees together to touch, and establish your balance.
  • Reach your left arm forward and simultaneously kick up and back with the right foot.
  • Create a standing backbend by increasing the tension between your upper body and back leg.
  • Keep your left hand at eye level and your hips square.
  • Switch sides.

Airplane

  • From a standing position, bring your hands to heart center in Prayer Position. Gaze at one point 3-4 feet in front of you.
  • Tilt forward from the hips as you simultaneously lift your right leg behind you with the foot flexed. Chest should be slightly higher than the heel.
  • Keep both hips square to the floor, and push energy out through your back heel.
  • Switch sides.

Half-Moon Pose

  • From Triangle Pose on the right side, place your left hand on your left hip and bend your right leg.
  • Reach your right hand about 12 inches beyond your right foot on the floor as you lift your left leg off the floor. Keep your left hip stacked above your right hip.
  • Exhale, press your right hand and right heel firmly into the floor, and straighten your right leg, simultaneously lifting the left leg parallel (or a little above parallel) to the floor. Extend actively through the left heel to keep the raised leg strong.
  • When you have your balance, extend the top arm up to the sky.
  • Gaze can be out, up, or down.
  • Switch sides.