Yoga Standing Balancing Poses: Tips and Exercises

hi i'm kathy madeo back with another video this one all about how to balance on one leg in this video i'm going to share with you the most common reasons why it's such a challenge to balance on one leg and then we'll go through a series of drills that will help you build the strength and stability you need and all of the muscles and joints that help you to balance with comfort and ease let's get started and so if we think about this very human fact that we uh the majority of us we have two legs we're balancing on two feet if you look at the way our joints are stacked our major joints so our shoulders our hips our knees and our ankles they stack one on top of the other right and when we have two legs as a base it's much easier to stack the joints the moment we lift one leg up or a foot up what happens often especially if the muscles around the joints are weak is we shift and compensate the weight and oftentimes this hip goes out which indicates a glu a weak glute medius the side muscle hip whose job is to help stabilize the thigh bone in the hip socket the opposing muscle the adductors here also help to stabilize the thigh bone and the hip socket so if either one of these are weak it potentially will move that femur bone out of the hip socket when we try to balance on one leg and then if you look at this stacking this joint stacking that i mentioned earlier my hip is over here my knee is a little bit in and then my ankle is all the way in and i'm kind of stacked in this diagonal plane so oftentimes what happens is we do this shift and then we fall over so one of the things for you to look at in your own body is when you shift your weight over and balance on one leg are you having a tendency to have your hip jut out and if so either this muscle is weak or you just didn't know that and we just want to take a moment to fire that muscle up and engage it as well as the adductor the inner thigh so it's almost like they're both going in opposing directions and hugging the thigh bone into the hip socket now back to this idea of joint stacking our ankle our knee and our hip are all very closely related if we have tight hips it can often track down to the knee and create problems in our knee and then that contract down to the ankle now on the inverse if we have let's say a flat foot and we have a tendency for the arch to collapse and to roll to the inside edge of the foot then what that will do oftentimes will bring the knees in so we might have a kind of like collapsed knee situation and then that will also continue to track up into the hip joint so if any one of these situations is happening and then we add on trying to balance on one leg it can get really difficult the other thing that can happen with the foot is some of us have the opposite tendency to when we balance to roll to the outer edge of the foot and there's some hacks that people use with yoga mats and this and that but i say let's just get to the source of the concern and build the right strength and awareness and your feet your knees and the muscles around the hip joint i'm gonna have you balance in like a boss okay another thing i want to bring to your attention is proprioceptive awareness that's just a really long word to say your awareness of your body and space so again as human beings we're kind of designed to have two feet on the ground have this nice stable pelvis to support our torso okay and then we do crazy things right we want to stand on our hands we want to balance on one leg well our kind of wiring isn't really used to that and our own awareness and space we're not used to all the different things that have to happen in our bodies in order to re-shift and re-figure our body in space and so while some of you will have some things going on in your joints or weak muscles or tight muscles or this and that that might be prohibiting you from balancing on one leg for a lot of other of you it's really just awareness it's just it's not a position that you're used to standing in so throughout this video i'll also be giving you some subtle cues to just get your kind of ground your feet into the mat and stabilize your thigh bone and your hip socket these kinds of things to just simply bring awareness to the various components that have to happen in order to balance with stability on one leg all right so we're going to get started now so the first thing we're going to focus on is bringing awareness and strength to our feet and our toes so i want you to stand wherever you are make sure you're barefoot no socks standing on the floor on a mat and lift and spread your toes and as you lift and spread your toes what you might notice is that you can feel the mounds of your toes pressing down and you might feel your heel pressing down as well and you might feel that the inner arch of your foot lifts up so this is a very quick and easy way to connect the what we call the corners of your feet into the ground and to help lift your arch up especially for those of you that have a collapsed inner arch and just set your toes back down so as you're moving throughout your day or waiting in line or this and that you can just do that from time to time to just kind of build that awareness and it'll also build the strength in the your feet arches uh and create a better arch there for your foot so that's the first kind of drill that we're doing here lift your toes and we'll just hold for about five to ten seconds and as you lift your toes see if you can even spread your toes and then set them down and we'll lift them back up keep pressing your toe mounds into the mat set your toes down and as you set your toes down go again lift your toes up notice if you have a tendency to roll in to the inner edges of your feet or to the outer edges of your feet set your feet down and just try to bring awareness to try to stay nice and grounded through the corners of your feet even as your toes come down now the next thing we're going to do is try to keep all four of our toes down and lift the big toe that takes some serious awareness doesn't it okay if you're struggling there that would be normal you might find one toe is easier than the other set the big toe down let's do that again lift your big toe set it down last one let's lift it up and set it down now big toe down lift your four toes up without lifting the rest of your foot up that is hard set it down we'll go two more lift it up press the toe mounds into the mat set them down last time lifting all eight of your toes up and set it down so this is something you could do throughout your day just build some awareness and strength in your feet and your toes next up we are going to focus on the glute medius and the adductor lay down on your right side you can place your hand underneath your head you're on your right hip these are the classic clam shells your knees will be bent and keep your feet and hips in the same line you can place your left hand wherever feels okay and we're simply going to

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