As a yogi, balance poses can offer up a great challenge, to test yourself and progress your practice.

These poses will help you strengthen your lower body and prepare for some more advanced poses.

No props required.

1. Weight Distribution – Start in table top. Focus on spreading the weight through the fingertips and knuckles. Draw the low belly in. Without compromising the spine, extend the right arm forward. Bicep along the ear. Keep pushing into the left fingertips. Set it down. Extend the right arm forward. Extend right leg back. Keep hip pointing down. Lower. Then extend left leg back.

2. Warrior 3 – Tuck the toes and lift up to downward dog. Step right foot forward to top of the mat. Feet hip width distance apart. Push into the feet and lift up. Lengthen the tailbone down. Draw naval in. Exhale to tilt forward and reach arms back. Inhale to lift back up. Do a few rounds. From here, lift the left toes up and hinge forward in Warrior 3. Keep the internal rotation of left thigh, knee and toes pointing down. Hands at heart, back at sides, or reaching forward.

3. Standing Pigeon – Lift the torso up. Staying on the right leg. Cross the left ankle over the right knee. Sink hips down. Bending into standing leg. Reach the chest forward and tail down.

4. Flamingo Twist – Lower the left foot. Bring big toes together and heels apart. Bend into both knees. Sink weight back into heels. Hands at heart. Twisting the left elbow to the outside of the right thigh. Lean onto the right leg and pick the left toes up, keeping knees together. Hold for a couple breaths. Then step the left foot back to lunge, keeping the twist.

5. Downward Dog Balance – Push up and back to downward dog. Come up to the left fingertips. Then see if you can lift that hand up. To increase the challenge, attempt to lift the right leg as well, in a two legged dog. Lower hand (and foot). Then switch to right hand (and maybe left foot).

Repeat 2 through 5 on the other side.

6. Pigeon Pose – Come to table top. Slide the right knee behind the right wrist. Extending the left leg back. Keep the hips level. Fold down, to rest on stacked fists, forearms or straight to the floor. Hold for 5 deep breaths. Let gravity do most of the work for you. After about 10 breaths, lift up. Then repeat on the other side.

7. Spinal Twist – Come down onto the back. Bring the feet flat to the floor. Shift the hips to the right. Drop the knees to the left. Push into the right shoulder blade. Lift the knees up and switch to the other side.

These 7 poses come from a 20 minute lower body balance class I shared recently.



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