Balance training is often neglected when people develop their fitness regime in pursuit of strength, endurance, and flexibility. That is because people don’t understand the benefits of balance training. We’ve talked about how Yoga can help you become more flexible and stronger in this blog before. But that’s not where the benefits of yoga end, there are many more abilities that yoga can help you develop.
Balance is a key component of fitness, and Yoga provides a slew of Asanas you can choose from that will help you become more balanced and coordinated in your body movements. Improved balance and muscle group coordination will naturally increase your body's ability to control itself during challenging tasks. For athletes, this means improved agility, quicker reaction times, and improved overall performance.
Before we talk about the Yoga Asanas you can do to improve your balance and coordination, let us discuss the various benefits of Balance Training.
The 5 Benefits of Balance Training
It is the ability recognize to where your body is in space. It is also called Proprioception. Your proprioceptive input is your ability to conjure up a mental picture of your body parts, where they are and how they interrelate, and how they move spatially. Balance training improves body awareness which decreases the likelihood of injury.
If you are coordinated, you can make your muscles work together at just the right time to produce the exact amount of force you need to accomplish a task smoothly. Improved coordination during balance training will lead to coordination in everyday life.
Joint Stability is the state of a joint remaining or promptly returning to proper alignment through equalization of forces. It requires a synergy between bones, joint capsules, ligaments, muscles, tendons, and sensory receptors. It prevents injuries such as sprained ankles and knee problems.
Reaction time is a measure of how quickly you can respond to a particular stimulus. Balance training improves your reaction time. If you slip or stumble when performing balance exercises, your body needs to re-balance immediately or you will fall. This is where improving your reaction time helps.
As you age, your balance can deteriorate, this is something you can avoid by balance training. You can prevent falls and fractures by improving your balance by incorporating balance training into your exercise routine.
Yoga Asanas To Improve Balance and Coordination
Here is a tailored list of Yoga Asanas which will help you develop balance and coordination:
1.Vrikshasana (Tree Pose)
The Sanskrit word “Vriksha” means tree. Vrikshasana helps with balance and endurance and improves alertness and concentration. It also strengthens the legs and opens the hips.
2.Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana or Mountain Pose is a standing pose that improves your posture and body awareness, strengthens your legs, and establishes proper alignment. It is also very beneficial for stretching of the spine to correct posture.
3.Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
Garudasana or Eagle Pose is a standing balancing pose in modern yoga. It improves your sense of balance, body awareness, and concentration. It is an asymmetric position in which one leg is crossed over the other, while the arm on the opposite side is crossed over the other arm, and the palms are pressed together. Like all poses on one leg, it demands and helps you to build, balance, and concentrate.
4.Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
The literal meaning of the Sanskrit word “utkatasana” is “powerful pose”. Utkatasana strengthens the thighs and ankles while toning the shoulders, butt, hips, and back. It immediately engages the strength of your legs, back, and ankles. It stretches the Achilles tendons and shins. It is known to be therapeutic for flat feet. It also stretches the shoulders and opens the chest. It tones your digestive organs and heart.
5.Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-facing Dog Pose)
Downward-facing Dog Pose is an inversion asana, often practiced as a part of the Surya Namaskar (Salute to the Sun) which is a sequence of twelve gracefully linked asanas. It releases your hamstrings, calves, hips, lower and mid-back, and across your shoulder blades and chest.
To learn these asanas from an expert teacher and practice yoga with the aim to build strength, don't forget to take a look at our schedule for live yoga classes and join in!