On a busy weekend or a day off from the gym, it is very easy to forget about mobility work. But, spending even 5-10 minutes on making a positive change for your mind and body can make such a difference. Try taking a few minutes to do a yoga pose or two with your family and friends. Or, take some quiet time for yourself when you have a spare moment. It will really impact how you feel in and out of the gym.
Our featured yoga pose of the week is tree pose. Tree pose is a balancing pose that is beginner-friendly and can be modified to be challenging, even for the experienced yogi. It also helps to stretch the inner thighs, groin area and shoulders (depending on the arm variation).
Why should you practice balancing poses?
Balancing is a skill that takes practice! Having good balance can help to avoid injuries in your daily life, as well as during workouts. It is sort of like a glue that holds together all your movements to keep you centred and upright! Balancing poses can also help to reduce stress by getting you to focus your mind. Overall, continuing to work on and strengthen balance is extremely beneficial.
- Begin standing up straight with your toes forward. Be close to a wall if you know you might need some support balancing.
- Then, shift your weight into your left foot and bend your right knee. Turn your right knee to the side while keeping your hips square to the front.
- Next, come up onto your right toes, attaching your right heel to your left inner ankle. Engage your core and look straight ahead. Your right toes should still be on the floor acting as a kickstand for support.
- If you are balancing here, lift the right sole of your foot to rest on your left inner leg (either above or below the knee). Make sure not to press directly onto your left knee with your right foot. Keep thinking of opening the right knee to the right side while keeping hips forward.
- Press the sole of your right foot into your left leg and think about rooting down through your left supporting foot.
- Breathe and hold. As you inhale, think about growing tall like a tree!
- You can keep your arms on your waist, reach them out wide, or even clasp hands behind your back. This will give your chest and shoulders a stretch.
- To release out of the pose, bring your right knee towards the front and slowly lower it down.
- Make sure to do both sides. Hold each for around 1 minute.
- If you really want to test your balance, try closing your eyes. Be careful if you decide to try this. Make sure you are near a wall that you can grab onto if needed.
- Try out different places for your arms to go. Get creative and enjoy it!
- Lastly, balancing poses can be frustrating. Your balance on both sides of your body can be very different, and varies day to day. Try to be patient with yourself and work towards balancing longer. It takes practice! Take your time entering and exiting the pose.