Balance poses are great poses to do in Office Yoga® for many reasons. Mainly, they have an immediate positive effect physically and mentally.
Physically, balance poses require core strength and full body awareness. The entire body is engaged in a balance pose, particularly the foundation (whatever is touching the floor). If you’re balancing in Warrior 3, the standing leg is fully engaged but every other part of the body also needs to be engaged in order for the pose to feel good. If the standing leg is working hard and the back leg is dead weight, then the weight of the back legs puts pressure on the lower back and creates more work for the standing leg to stabilize. If the back leg is engaged, everything works together and the pose feels sattvic (peaceful, at ease).
Mentally, balance poses require you to stay focused. In yoga, we refer to our focus (or gazing point) as drishti. It’s important to have your eyes locked on a steady point so the mind can maintain equanimity. When your mind is focused on a steady object, it can’t be thinking about other problems because you can only have one thought at a time. Try it yourself, try balancing while standing in the middle of a busy hallway. Then try balancing while staring at a blank wall.
A great benefit to doing balance poses in Office Yoga® is that it takes you out of your head and into your body instantly. If you are walking in straight from a meeting or intense work project, a few simple balance poses will help ground you into the space and the moment, quickly. The effects are immediate.
Image #1: Warrior 3 (or Virabhadrasana 3) is one of my favorite Office Yoga® balance poses to do. It’s a traditional yoga pose (asana) that requires attention and effort. Try it yourself:
- Stand on your right leg and float your left leg back behind you.
- Firm your right heel into the ground and feel the energy rebound up the leg.
- Engage your left leg and press the heel toward the wall behind you.
- Bring your arms by your sides, palms face down.
- Squeeze your shoulder blades towards each other, engaging the upper back.
- Engage your abdominals, pulling your belly button in towards your spine.
- Keep your eyes focused on a steady point out in front of you.
- Hold for 5 breaths and change sides.
Modified: Keep your back foot on the floor (Image #2).
Advanced: Extend your arms straight out in front. Keep your upper back engaged.
When you’re done, stand the the ground with both feet on the floor and hands by your sides. Take a moment to feel what it’s like to have both feet on the ground again. Feel the energetic effect rippling through the entire body. Notice the quality of thought and the headspace you’re in.
If this helps you, share with your friends. If you want more hands on instruction you can have a certified Office Yoga® instructor to come to your work place. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more details and scheduling.