Balance is something that we tend to lose as we age due to problems with our feet, complications from diabetes or cancer treatment, or just due to inactivity. This week we explore how to bring more balance into simple movements but starting to work with articulating and stimulating the feet.
Start sitting in a chair and crossing one leg over the other knee. Weave the fingers of your opposite hand in between the toes of your foot so that the sole of the foot and palm of the hand are facing each other.
1. Spread the fingers apart which in turn spreads the toes apart
2. Hold the ankle steady and roll the ball of the foot and toes around in a circle both directions
3. Roll the ankle around in both directions
Curl ring and little finger into palm, secure with thumb, extend index and middle fingers into V shape; point fingers toward the ground.
Benefits: Activates downward flowing energy in body
Practice Tips: Use when constipated or to ground
Talasana (Palm Tree Pose)
Stand in Tadasana with the arms at the sides. Inhale lift up onto balls of the feet as you raise arms forward and overhead
Exhale release weight back into heels as you release the arms to sides. Repeat 3-5 times.
Therapeutics: Strengthens arches of feet, ankles and calves, improves balance
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Stand with feet hips-width apart. Engage legs and bear weight on right leg only. Draw left foot onto calf or inner thigh (do not press on side of knee). Press foot against leg and leg against foot. Draw belly in and release tail bone towards floor. Inhale and draw arms overhead without gripping shoulders. Hold as long as you can balance with comfort, release and change sides.
Therapeutics: Mental focus and balance, leg strength, stretches inner thighs
More home practices for balance:
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I attend Cheryl's class regularly and feel that my practice has improved immensely over the past few years due to her expert coaching. Her teaching style is clear and compassionate and her previous experience in teaching adults is evident in her organized approach and easy to understand instructions. I also appreciate that Cheryl not only teaches us about how to correctly position ourselves, but also touches on many aspects of yoga philosophy, which in turn has deepened my personal practice and heightened my awareness of the connection between mind and body, breath and relaxation.