Health & Beauty | 31 July 20153 Yoga Poses to Improve Your Balance Share article facebook twitter google pinterest From cycling, to golf, to tennis, balance is an essential skill in many sports. These three poses from Power Yoga for Athletes will help any athlete master the skill and increase their strength. To be an elite athlete, you must have balance—balance of the mind, body, and spirit. Yoga balance poses are so powerful because they combine all three together in one unbreakable unit, in which one cannot exist without the other. Your whole being must work together to keep a balance pose stable. If you fall, no big deal—get right back up and try again. Their purpose is to teach us how to focus and persevere with integrity and humility. Balance poses also help us improve coordination, increase strength, and develop stability, while reducing stress and relieving fatigue. Let’s find that focus that will keep you strong in any athletic endeavor. Tree Pose Learn to balance and focus in the roughest storm. This pose builds a stronger mind/body connection and focus, while improving posture. 1. From Mountain pose, put your hands together in front of your chest, while opening your left hip. Keep your shoulders relaxed. 2. Position your left foot below or above your knee on the inside of your right leg, and keep your right knee a little soft. As you exhale, give your abs a little squeeze. 3. Find a spot to focus on, and take five to ten deep breaths. Repeat on the other side. Target body areas: feet, ankles, calves, quadriceps, and core. Sports it benefits: running, cycling, golf, tennis. Soar high with my favorite yoga pose for opening the shoulders and building strength in your legs. This pose encourages extreme focus and confidence. Eagle Pose 1. Press back into Chair pose, and extend your left arm forward, while wrapping your right arm underneath and around your left arm. Bring your palms together. 2. Wrap your left leg over your right, and keep your hips square to the front. Press your bum back farther. 3. Lift your fingers, relax your shoulders, and draw your elbows forward to really activate the pose. Find your focus, and hold for five to ten deep breaths. Repeat with your left leg on the floor and your left arm wrapping under your right. Modification: Keep your lower body in a chair instead of wrapping your legs. Target body areas: feet, ankles, calves, quadriceps, core, wrists, forearms, upper back, and shoulders. Sports it benefits: swimming, cycling, golf, hockey, soccer. Balancing Bear You may feel weird in this powerful pose, but I’ve actually seen grizzly bears do this in person. This pose provides a total core and balance workout. 1. Start in a seated position with your knees drawn toward you. 2. Grab your ankles or outside of your feet, and extend your legs on a diagonal, while activating your core. 3. Stretch your legs, arms, and chest as much as possible, while maintaining your balance and keeping your shoulders away from your ears. Hold for five to ten deep breaths, and release. Target body areas: hamstrings, inner thighs, hips, core, chest, wrists, and shoulders. Sports it benefits: running, cycling, golf, baseball, softball. Hockey, football, baseball, golf, swimming, lacrosse – whatever your sport of choice, yoga will help you to improve focus, flexibility, and performance. Power Yoga for Athletes is perfect for those who want a total body and mind workout. Yoga is the ideal cross-training tool and a perfect stand-alone exercise, whether you’re looking to improve balance, focus, control, breathing, posture, or flexibility; strengthen your back, joints, or core; or reduce or heal from injury. Yoga benefits athletes of all types, helping you to improve your athletic prowess and hone new strengths. You’ll find many poses ideal for the sport of your choice, including: Running Swimming Cycling Golfing Baseball Basketball Soccer Football/rugby Hockey Tennis Featuring more than 100 yoga poses from instructor Sean Vigue, Power Yoga for Athletes incorporates more than just poses. It describes a whole-body program for cross-training and conditioning. Each yoga pose features step-by-step directions, instructional photography, muscles being worked, overall benefits, and the sports for which each pose is ideal. Get the balance, strength, and focus you need to perform at your best. “Talk about a perfect pitch! Sean Vigue has the moves, mojo, and motivation you need to reach that next level of fitness. His energy is contagious and his pipes are sublime. Go Sean, go!” – Brooke Siler, bestselling author and Pilates “trainer to the stars” “Power yoga is a perfect example of functional training. [It] increases your flexibility, strength and balance in such a way that you will feel more in balance doing your everyday tasks. [This is] a well-written book by Sean Vigue that demonstrates exercises you can do wherever you like. [It is] filled with instructional tips for the best exercises power yoga has to offer you. I definitely recommend this book to my followers, whether they are gymnasts, martial artists, or non-athletes!” – Jerome Fishermen, JeromeFitness.com “Sean is a talented and knowledgeable fitness instructor that I am proud to have had the privilege of working with. Beyond his technical skill and knowledge, he also has a personality that makes him easy to get along with, and helps him inspire everyone, regardless of age, skill level, or gender, to become active through yoga and Pilates. This book is going to be a standard for athletes that are interested in taking their game to the next level in non-traditional fitness areas.” – Dean Pohlman, owner Man Flow Yoga “Sean teaches a challenging yet super fun yoga class. He is a master at what he does.” – Heather Kapande, owner Nick’s Pro Fitness in Evergreen, Colorado Share article facebook twitter google pinterest If you have any comments on this article please contact us or get in touch via social media.