Balance for Beginners in Ashtanga Yoga Standing Postures

Bookmark and Share

By Kino MacGregor • May 6th, 2013 • 18136 Views

Balance for Beginners in Ashtanga Yoga Standing Postures

Learn to Balance in Tree and Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana

Balance is first and foremost a state of mind. After the inner calm is established the physical expression of balance in yoga postures appears. If you lose your balanced mind while attempting anything in yoga you defeat the entire purpose of the practice. Even if you manage to squeeze and tense your body into the appearance of balance, if the inner world is not calm then yoga is not happening in a meaningful sense. When attempting any of the standing and balancing postures in the Ashtanga Yoga method remember that balance comes from the inner world first. 

The best way to learn balance is through trial and error. Each time you experience your body and yourself out of balance you learn how to better maintain your center of harmony. In the standing postures of Ashtanga Yoga many beginners experience shaking and trembling of the limbs in addition to the feeling of perpetually being out of balance. Rather than being discouraged by this, new students should realize that this is the essence of learning balance. If a student does indeed fall out of a standing posture their body is learning how to maintain balance even more. While many people aim to achieve perfect balance on the first try, the true student is one who is willing to learn balance slowly over many years. 

One of the first challenges to your sense of balance is a posture called Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. This involves balancing on one leg while holding half lotus position and folding forward over the stranding leg. Combining both external rotation of the hip joint with a good understanding of inner balance this posture requires patience, focus and dedication. Beginners may find that their hip joints are not open enough to stand in half lotus position. If this is the case an easy modification is a simple tree posture. Tree posture is not actually included in the traditional Ashtanga Yoga method, but it can be used either as modification or preparation for Ardha Baddha Padmottanasana. In order to enter tree transfer the weight of your body onto your left foot. Then externally rotate your right hip joint and bring the right heel as close to the groin as possible.

 

Point the right knee out to the side and attempt to close the right knee joint fully....


Kino MacGregor

Location:  Miami, US

Kino MacGregor is one of only 14 people in the United States to receive Certification to teach Ashtanga Yoga from its founder, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois in Mysore, India. The youngest woman to hold this title,...