We spend every day trying to balance our personal and work lives, but if you’re like me, juggling work tasks, a family, friends, etc., can get overwhelming. Finding a good balance (and staying sane in the process) almost seemed impossible some days—but then I tried yoga.
Yoga not only improves our physical balance and helps prevent us from future injuries; it also improves our focus and relieves stress, leading to an overall improved life balance.
The following are 7 yoga poses—that when done when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed with everything you have to do—will provide you with the focus, peace and balance you’re looking for.
Stand with your feet together and bend your knees to a 90-degree angle, keeping your weight evenly distributed on your feet. Raise your arms up above your head, fingers extended, so they’re perpendicular to the floor. You can look forward or slightly tilt your head back to look between your hands. Hold this pose for up to one minute, again breathing rhythmically, and then take a deep inhale breath while straightening your legs and bringing your arms back down.
The tree pose is a popular balancing pose. Start in Mountain Pose, shift your weight to your left foot, bend your right knee, reach down and grab your right ankle and then use your hand to bring your foot up your leg until it’s pressed against your inner left thigh. Balance your foot slightly above or below your knee, not right on it. You can rest your hands on your hips, hold them in front of you in a prayer position or extend your arms up toward the ceiling. Hold for up to a minute, bring your feet together again and your arms down and then repeat on the other side.
3. Downward-Facing Dog
Downward-Facing Dog is probably the most common yoga pose. Start out on your hands and knees, with your upper arms facing outward and your forearms rotated inward. Then, push up your hips up, keeping your feet and hands on the floor, until you’re in a downward V pose. Hold for up to a minute before slowly dropping yourself back down to the ground in your beginning stance.
4. Extended Triangle
Stand with your feet about 3 ½ to 4 feet apart. Raise your arms up until they’re parallel to the floor and reach them out to your sides, keeping your shoulder blades wide and your palms down. Next, turn your left foot in to the right and your right foot outward to the right at 90 degrees, aligning your right heel with your left. Then, extend your torso to the right, bending at your hip joint, and rotate your torso to the left. Rest your right hand wherever you’re most comfortable (shin, ankle or floor) and raise your left arm toward the ceiling, keeping it in line with your shoulders. Hold for up to one minute and then reverse your feet and repeat on the opposite side.
5. Half Moon
Start in Extended Triangle. Slide your right leg a little closer to your left, bend your left knee so you can lift your right leg until it’s parallel with the floor, placing your left hand on the ground. You can keep your right hand on your hip or extend it toward the ceiling. Hold for up to a minute, release and then repeat on the opposite side.
6. Warrior A (or Warrior I)
Start in Mountain Pose. Step backward with your left foot, pointing it at a 45-degree angle. Point your hips forward, bend your front knee at a 90-degree angle, raise your arms above your head and turn your head and eyes up toward the ceiling. Hold for up to one minute and then change sides.
7. Warrior B (or Warrior II)
From Warrior A, open your hips up and your chest. Move your left arm down above your left leg and your right arm down above your right leg. Relax your shoulders and face while keeping your weight evenly balanced and looking over your right hand. Hold for up to a minute before relaxing and changing sides.
Taking just 5-10 minutes out of your day to do some of these poses will improve your life balance.
What other yoga poses have you done that you’d recommend doing to help improve life balance?