Improve Balance with Yoga — 10 min Flow Sequence

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(melodious instrumental music) – Hi, my name is Jayme and
I’m a teacher with YYOGA. And today I’m going to lead
you through a short flow aimed at improving balance. So, first things first, if you have a couple of blocks at home, make sure you have them handy. If you don’t, it’s no problem, a couple of thick sturdy
books will help you. So some of the things that
we want to think about when it comes to balancing is a strong foundation and
connection to the earth via the feet. So we’re going to talk about how to stay aware of the feet today, as well as where you’re looking, what we call a Drishti, a
focal point for the gaze. Finally, you want to make sure that we’ve got a good strong
connection to our breathing, nice calm deep breaths help to bring stability and grounding into the body. Let’s begin. Come to the front of your mat, place those blocks or books
up near the front of the mat so you can get a hold of them
easily when you need them. Start by lifting up all of your toes, spreading them out nice and wide and then just keep them
lifted for a moment here and focus on pressing
into your big toe mound, that’s your metatarsal, all the way along the other
toes into the baby toe mound. And then just lay the toes back down nice and spread relaxed. Bring awareness into the grounding of the inner and outer edges of your heels and add a little bit of a lift to the inner arches of the
feet, hug the outer ankles in. And then really focus on pushing down into those four corners of your feet. Now look straight ahead, roll
the shoulders back and down, get nice and toned,
connect it to your core and just close your eyes for a moment and start to focus on inhaling deeply and exhaling thoroughly. Open up the eyes, we’ll start to move a little bit here, linking the movement in the breath. So as you breathe in, raise
your arms up and overhead, look to your hands, exhale, begin to fold forward, Uttanasana. Now observe as you come forward here if the weight shifted in your feet. Bring the shins forward, keep some weight in the front of the feet. As you inhale lift halfway and as you exhale, step your
right leg back, lower the knee. Now come on to your spidered fingertips, pull your feet to the center of the mat, really charge up the legs, and then to lift your arms, focus on grounding the lower
half of your body down, nice big inhale as you reach
your arms up and overhead. And then follow your exhale,
bring your hands to the mat, step back to high plank. You can have your knees up
or down here, your choice. Come down through chaturanga,
all the way to the mat, untuck the toes and as you inhale, roll your shoulders
back coming into Cobra. Exhale, downward facing dog. Inhale, take your right
leg up into the sky, and as you exhale, bring your
knee in towards your chest and step your foot between your hands. If the leg doesn’t quite
make it, pull it up. Land your back knee, scissor
up the inner thighs again, get nice and rooted from
your hips to your feet, inhale, raise the arms up, and then exhale, bring
your hands to the mat. Now lift up your back knee, shift the weight forward
into your front foot, bring your left thigh into your chest and mindfully place your left foot down. Press into both feet, inhale halfway lift. Exhale forward fold. To standing, root the legs, inhale, float the arms up and overhead and let’s fold right away again. So again notice how the weight is settling on the feet
as you forward fold. Inhale halfway lift and exhale,
step your left leg back. Land the knee, charge the legs, inhale, press down, float the arms up, and exhale hands to the mat,
into high plank and chaturanga. Inhale coming into Cobra,
roll the shoulders back, lengthen the neck, nice big
breath here and then exhale. Flow your hips back and
up, downward facing dog. As you inhale, raise your left leg up, exhale, bring the knee into the
chest, round the upper back, step forward, pull the leg up if necessary and land your back knee, breathe in. Root the legs, raise the arms. And exhale, bring your hands to the mat, lift your back knee. Once again root into
the grounding front leg, bring your right thigh into your chest and place your foot down. In half way lift, big exhale forward fold. Inhale, come to standing,
press into the feet, the fingertips just float right on up. And then as you breathe out, next, bring your hands to heart center. All right. Let’s talk about Drishti. Look straight ahead at your own eye level, try not to look at the floor and relax the muscles around your eyes. Steady your breath, and think about breathing
into that focal point. Now bring all your awareness, all your grounding into your left leg, push down into the four
corners of that foot so heavily that your right leg just floats on up. And pause here, breathing
into your Drishti. Keep your belly strong and then begin to bend
your standing leg knee and send the right toes
back very very slowly. So at any point here you can
always put your hands down on your blocks to the floor, just to help stabilize yourself. But focus on pushing down
into the grounding leg, pulling up through the abdominals and then reaching from
the top of your head to the tip of your lifted toe. So you’re exuding energy
in all directions. And then bring the hands down
to the blocks of the floor, bend your standing leg knee
and step your right leg back. So, balance and transitions can be tricky, and one of the challenging transitions is lifting the arms up
into a high crescent lunge, it can feel really really wobbly. So focus on pulling your feet into the center of the mat, hugging your inner thighs
and outer hips together, so you feel really strong in your legs. And just test lifting up your
fingertips a few times here. And then when you’re ready push
from your hips to your feet and slowly bring the arms up and overhead. So in this way we find
stability in the transition, so it’s already in waiting for us once we arrive in the position. Now let’s bring the hands
back to heart center again, shift your weight forward. We’re going to come into Warrior III, but instead of pushing off the back foot, which makes for an unsteady transition, pop your back foot in a little closer and focus on pushing down,
down into your left leg, so the back leg just floats on up. Hug the inner thighs, press down through the standing leg, pull up through the belly, reach to the top of the head and the tip of your lifted toes. Take another big inhale, your exhale, you can bring your hands down and mindfully place your right
foot beside your left foot. Big breath in, halfway lift. Big breath out as you
fold back into your legs. And then root to rise, raise
your arms up and overhead, nice big inhale, and exhale, bring the
hands back to heart center. All right, let’s take the second side. So to bring the weight and the grounding over into your right
leg, find your Drishti, find your breath. And when you’re ready press
down into your right leg and just let the left
leg float off of the mat, very easy to get distracted
by the lifted leg when we’re balancing, but it really is all about
the focus on the stable leg. Now start to tip forward slowly, and as you come forward,
stretch your lifted toes back, so we’re just passing through Warrior III, it really just an exaggerated
transition into the lunge. You can bring the hands down here, land your back leg as you
bend your standing leg knee and let’s find that traction
between the feet again. So come on to your spidered fingertips, pull the feet in, hug the outer hip, squeeze the inner thighs. And again just take a test
here, see if you’re stable. When you know that you are,
route from hips to feet, use your core a little here
and come up nice and slow. Find your breath, your Drishti, and then bring the hands
back to heart center. And once again shift the
upper body weight forward, not pushing off the back
foot, hopping it back in and relying on the power
of the standing leg to float the back leg up. Just find the steadiness
of your breath here. No worries if you’re
wiggling and wobbling, that’s just the body figuring
things out, keep breathing. Take one more big inhale. On your exhale, bring your hands
back down and step forward. Inhale, halfway lift, big exhale as you forward fold. Ground your strong legs, sweep
your arms up and overhead and exhale, hands through heart center. So feel free to practice all that again. To summarize, be sure that you have a strong
connection to your feet. Make sure that you have a Drishti, a focal point to look at, one that is steady and
at your own eye level. And finally make sure that you stay connected to your breathing, it will keep you calm and
to help support grounding. If you need any more practice
in terms of getting better at grounding your feet. Massaging the soles of
your feet on a tennis ball or if you come to class at YYOGA we have these long
wooden bars called dowels and you can also use those
to roll out the feet. Practice balancing while
you’re doing dishes, while you’re folding laundry,
just lifting up one leg. And most importantly have
patience with yourself, because it does take practice and every day can be different. Some days you’ll feel really solid, other days you’ll feel
wobbly and it’s okay, it’s an ever-evolving practice. Thank you so much for practicing today, please feel free to check
out our other videos. Again my name is Jayme, I’m
a teacher here at YYOGA. Namaste.

 

7 Responses

  1. YYOGA at Home — online yoga classes

    July 9, 2019 7:03 pm

    If you enjoy having captions on our videos, please comment "yes!" below!

    Reply
  2. Holistic Therapies Directory

    July 23, 2019 3:11 am

    You make it look so so easy. Can't see me wanting to balance on my books lol

    Reply

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