5 Ways To Balance Yoga With Independence And Freedom
by Vicky Wilcox on Jul 04, 2023
Today is a very special day for some of us – Independence Day! A Day to acknowledge freedom for so many of us around the world and a chance to celebrate independence.
When it comes to Independence Day celebrations, the one thing that some people think about is how the celebrations can have an impact on your health and wellbeing in the days after. So how can you join in the fun and celebrations without having an impact on your fitness levels? How can we have some fun and celebrate and at the same time ensure we don’t go too crazy.
Try these 5 Yoga Poses to retain a sense of balance in your life this week
Are you an independent person who values freedom? Or can you let go of the ego, embrace the idea of integration with the world around you and lose yourself in the moment?
Yoga is a journey, and it’s important to remember that there is no end point in which you arrive and become ‘mastered’. A constant balance between surrendering to the practice and retaining independence can be difficult. To help find this balance there are 5 yoga poses I recommend to help you retain that sense of balance in what can be a busy time.
This yoga practice is for:
- Anyone that wants to retain a sense of balance in their lives
- Anyone who is new to yoga
- Anyone who wants to improve their flexibility
- Anyone who wants to find a sense of peace and calm
Here are some of my favourite poses to develop balance, and to bring a sense of calm and peacefulness over this busy time of celebration.
Standing Forward Fold
This is a great way to stretch your hamstrings, calves, lower back and shoulders.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hinge at the hips until your torso is parallel with the floor.
- Grab hold of your ankles or shins if you need help balancing.
- If you have tight hamstrings, bend your knees slightly. Hold for 5 to 10 breaths.
Standing Forward Fold is a great way to stretch the hips and hamstrings and relieve stress.
This pose can be done anywhere, anytime, and it doesn’t require you to be flexible at all. Just fold forward from the hips and keep your legs straight, then let gravity pull you down as far as you can go.
If it’s too difficult to get into the full pose, just aim for a 90-degree bend in the knees. The more you practice this pose, the easier it will become.
Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
Tree Pose or Eka Pada Pranamasana is one of the most well-known balancing poses in yoga. This pose encourages you to feel rooted, and like all balancing poses helps to improve posture, and muscle coordination and balances the nervous system.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet together and then raise one foot off the ground, keeping your knee bent and your leg slightly turned out.
- Place the sole of your other foot on the inside of your thigh and press down with both hands against the sides of your lifted foot.
- Keep your hips squared and gaze forward.
• This pose strengthens thighs, knees and ankles while improving balance, focus and concentration.
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
This is a classic hip opener that also improves stability and mobility. This pose is usually practiced as part of the Sun Salutation series but can be done on its own as part of a sequence of poses.
How to do it:
- Step one foot forward between your hands, keeping it parallel to the front edge of your mat. Bend both knees deeply and keep them over the ankles so you feel stable.
- Lift up through the chest, keeping the shoulders down away from the ears.
- Extend the arms straight out at shoulder height with palms facing down toward ground for support—or clasp them behind back for more challenge!
So many! But here are some of the top benefits of doing this pose that you might be interested in?
Strengthens legs; increases flexibility in hips and shoulders; improves posture; improves circulation through spine and hips; relieves anxiety/depression; promotes self-confidence/self-esteem; strengthens abdominals/lower back muscles; helps relieve stress/fatigue/anxiety; improves mood!
The Warrior III pose is an intermediate-level yoga pose that stretches your hips and thighs, strengthens your core and arms, and builds endurance. It’s a great pose to do if you’re looking to get into more advanced yoga poses because it requires balance and focus.
This pose is all about balance, and it’s a great way to start your practice when you need a little extra help getting centered.
How to do it:
- Stand in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), then step your left foot back into Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III).
- Your feet should be parallel, with your heels about hip-width apart and arms extended parallel to the floor in front of you at chest height.
- Lift your chest up and reach your arms overhead, creating a straight line between your fingertips and toes.
- Hold the pose for five breaths before repeating on the other side.
- Improved flexibility in your hips, thighs, and hamstrings
- Strengthens your core muscles and improves your posture
- Builds endurance while building strength in your arms
This is a great way to strengthen your core muscles while also working on balance!
How to do it:
• To do plank pose, get into a push-up position (face down on all fours), then lift onto hands while keeping feet planted firmly on the floor.
- You can try variations of this with one hand in the center of the mat and turning to the opposite side, having both legs up or the bottom knee on the mat for additional support.
- This asana helps to improve balance and gives a sense of inner peace and harmony.
- It also helps to strengthen the thighs, arms, shoulders, and spine.
I hope these poses will help you this week to find a sense of balance and calm in this busy time of celebration.
Join me on the mat if you want to start your practice – you can drop me a line anytime here. Or if you want to treat yourself to some yoga goodies, yoga wear or accessories then check out the Yoga Shop!
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