Balancing Yoga Poses

Improve balance, and coordination, and build the foundation necessary to help you move along your yoga journey! Our balancing yoga poses below contain step-by-step instructions, instructional videos, and more!

What is a Balancing Yoga Pose?

As the name indicates, any yoga pose where balance plays a significant role can be considered a balancing asana.

An easy way to identify a yoga balance is to examine your contact with the ground. Humans are quite used to standing upright or kneeling on all fours. But what happens when we remove one or more points of contact?

Even seasoned yogis will attest to the fact that standing on one leg is nowhere near as easy as standing on both.

Another type of balance in yoga is when the weight rests on an unusual part of the body, such as the hands, head, or lower back.

Benefits of Balancing Yoga Poses

  • Balance. Though it may be obvious, the largest benefit of practicing balancing yoga poses is the sense of balance and coordination you gain in the process.
  • Body awareness. Nothing teaches you to be aware of your body quite like a good balance pose. It really forces you to think about the position of every part of your body! And if you practice balance regularly, this awareness transcends beyond the yoga mat.
  • Core strength. Your core is what keeps everything working together. When it comes to balance, your core is an invaluable tool that helps you stay strong and stable. Naturally, balancing yoga poses activate your core muscles and strengthen them in the process.
  • Isolated strength. Balancing yoga poses are great for targeting specific body parts depending on individual poses. For example, arm balances are great for strengthening the upper body and improving wrist mobility. Whereas a standing balance focuses on muscles and ligaments in your legs, ankles, and hips.
  • Stabilizer muscles. As well as the muscles that are responsible for movement, our body has muscles whose job is supporting and stabilizing the joints. When we work on our balance, the tiny adjustments we make to stay stable are fantastic for strengthening those stabilizer muscles!

Examples of Balancing Yoga Poses

There are various different types of balancing yoga poses. Some make you stand on one leg or require you to shift the weight over to one side of the body. Others take it a step further, making you balance using your hands or even your head!

Below are just a few examples of balancing yoga poses in different categories.

Standing Balance

Side Balance

Sit Bone Balance

Arm Balance

Inversion Balance

Ramp it up!

Whether you’ve mastered the art of balancing or you just want to diversify your training, you can try these variations to challenge yourself.

  • Balance off the ground. You would be surprised how much the change of perspective affects your balance. Next time you practice, try performing a standing balance on a chair and see for yourself! For an arm balance, you could use a pair of parallel bars or arm balance canes.
  • Close your eyes. Spatial awareness plays a key role in our ability to balance. When you close your eyes, it is significantly harder to maintain your balance!
  • Add a moving component. In a circus, it’s common to see artists performing tricks on a rolling ball, a balancing board, or even horseback! While you don’t have to take it to the extreme, adding a moving component to your balance is a great challenge. For example, you could use a yoga wheel or a foam roller or try yoga on a slackline.
  • Find a soft surface. Balancing on an even, solid surface gives you a huge advantage. Practicing balance on grass, sand, or even standing on a foam block is much harder!