3 Ways to Improve Balance in Yoga

Balancing postures always help us off the mat. Of course, the physical aspects are wonderful for teaching us stability and self-awareness, but these features also help us function in the world with more grace. We see more, are more approachable, feel more rooted, breathe with more ease and find optimal balance in our effort. Read on to find out more!

1. Relax Your Eyes

In yoga we always want to relax our eyes and face. Staring harshly with beady eyes equates to rigidness, not to mention it makes us look angry and unapproachable. To maintain better balance on and off the mat, it’s best if we soften our eyes to see more spaciousness. Doing so helps us absorb subtle fluctuations and changes. If balance is really a challenge, try looking down at the ground or at one spot that isn’t moving. Even though focusing on one point will help build stability, do it with relaxation and openness.


Vishvamitrasana in the Tuolumne River; balance was really difficult!

2. Feel Your Foundation

Some of our energy and awareness must go down to create a solid foundation when we balance. If we’re practicing a standing pose, our legs and feet are the roots. If it’s an arm balance, then our hands. Even though our eyes may be looking up and out, our inner gaze, or drishti, needs to be in and down towards the Earth. This simple awareness helps us relax, breathe and find stability when balancing.

3. Stretch Optimally

A flat pose—one deflated with no air in it—is like a ship whose rudder is unmanned. Limp limbs wobble and steer us astray. Conversely, if we try so hard that we’re too stiff to absorb the natural fluctuations of a balancing posture we will also struggle. We need to find a way to stretch optimally. Not too little, not too much. We need to fill out the pose with breath and stretch with just the right intensity to find the middle ground. The middle, after all, is where we find yoga.