Yoga Flow to Build Strength and Balance


Yoga Flow to Build Strength and Balance

Master the transition with help from Master Trainer Clare Walters and wave goodbye to the mid-flow wobble.

Balancing postures in yoga can be the most frustrating. You wobble; your standing leg starts to burn and cramp and so you hold your breath, sweating and silently begging the yoga teacher to have mercy on you and move the flow forwards.

There is a way to make your time on the mat a little more… peaceful, shall we say? Often it’s the transitions in and out of the postures that throw you off balance and multiple balances are linked together, which can fatigue the standing leg.

After completing a few Sun Salutations to warm up your body, this flow allows you to practice and smooth out the transitions between standing and balancing postures. Not only will it keep you steady and stop to the wobble, it’ll build control and single-leg strength that transfers to your days off the mat and in the gym, too. Deep breath…

Warrior 1
From downward dog step the right foot forwards between the hands. Lower the back heel with the toes pointing forwards on a 45 degree angle. Bend the front leg, straighten the back leg. Reach the arms up overhead, shoulder width apart. Hold for 5 breaths.

Warrior 3
Bring the hands to prayer at the centre of the chest. Transfer the weight into the right leg and lift the left leg so it’s parallel to the floor. Slightly lower the left hip to square the pelvis. Hold for 5 breaths

Reverse Warrior
Bend the right leg and reach backwards with the left to lower the foot to the floor on a 45-degree angle. Windmill the arms open and send the right hand up and back to bring a side stretch into the right side of the torso while the left hand reaches down the back leg. Deepen the bend of the right leg. Hold for 5 breaths.

Half Moon
On the last exhale, shift the weight into the right leg and reach the right hand to the floor half a metre in front of your right leg. Lift the left leg so it’s parallel to the floor while keeping the left hip stacking above the right. Hold for 5 breaths

Bring the left hand to the left hip and close the hip so that both hip bones point to the floor. Lower the left foot to the floor and simultaneously bring the right hand to the right hip. Both legs should be straight and both heels on the floor. Shorten the stance if the back heel lifts. Inhale and lengthen the crown of the head forwards, exhale to hinge at the hips and fold over the right leg. Hold for 5 breaths.

Revolved Half Moon
While maintaining the twist through the torso, look forwards and place the left hand half a metre in front of the right foot. Shift your weigh into the right foot and lift the left leg so it’s parallel to the floor. Hug your inner thighs towards each other and flex your right foot. Look up to the right fingers and hold for 5 breaths.

Chair Pose
Look forwards and with control step you left foot to meet your right. Bend both knees, shift the weight into your heels so you can see your toes in front of your knees.  Reach the arms up alongside the ears and externally rotate the arms so the little fingers spin towards each other. With every exhale bend a little lower into the legs. Hold for 5 breaths.

Downward Facing Dog
Take the hands to the mat and step the feet back into Downward Facing Dog. Soften the knees and send the pelvis high towards the ceiling, simultaneously press the floor away with your hands and send your chest through towards the thighs. Hold for 5 breaths before repeating the flow on the left side.

Lie down and have a well-deserved rest. Call it a Savasana, if you like.

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