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Yoga Balance Videos

Youtube videos with a focus on upright balance and balancing on one foot

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The youtube videos below focus mainly on upright balance, for example balancing on the fronts of the feet or balancing on one foot. They also include weight shifting exercises which can help you improve both stability and body awareness, helping you learn to feel where your center of gravity is via your connection with the earth.

So if you are standing, you can use weight shifting exercises to use your feet to help you feel where your center of gravity is in relation to your feet.

Why Bother with Weight Shifting Exercsises?

Basic Weight Shifting and Foot Awareness

This weight shifting exercise is about feeling your center and controlling it.

This video includes several front-to-back weight shifting variations.

Use these exercises to help get used to using your feet to feel where your center of gravity is relative to your foundation while standing.

Weight Shifting to One Foot

Here, the focus is on shifting weight from one foot to the other while standing.

Learn to discern between skin contact (no pressure) and pressurized contact for better body awareness.

Use these exercises to help get used to using your feet to feel where your center of gravity is relative to your foundation while standing.

Balancing in Tree Pose

Some simple tips for improving balance in tree pose.

This includes the balancing on one foot element as well as balancing the left and right side tree poses so that they are more even.

Practicing Hip Stability While Balancing on One Leg

Single Leg Standing Forward Bend

The one legged standing forward bend for developing hip stability and mobility.

Bringing the lifted leg forwards can make this exercise harder since it shifts the bodies center of gravity so that it is in front of the standing leg (or at least more forwards.) This then means that the muscles at the rear of the standing leg have to work harder when bending forwards and even harder when standing up.

This then becomes a good way to test hip mobility and stability. If the action causes pain or discomfort then you have to change the way you use your hip muscles. In this video I show you how to focus on activating the obturator internus, and why I think that the obturator internus is important in this and in other forward bending actions.

To learn more, read about the Obturator Internus

Balancing on the Fronts of your Feet

Squatting with Heels Lifted for Stronger Knees

For stronger knees (and for dealing with knee pain), an alternative to the Peterson squat is a "heels lifted" squat.

In this case, use the calf muscles to keep the heels lifted, particularly the gastrocnemius which cross the back of the knee joint to attach to the femur.

Do practice balancing on your forefeet without weight first. Forefoot Balance

One advantage of squatting with both legs is that I can go all the way down (butt to heels).

Note that I'm doing this to help deal with knee pain. However, I'm also doing it slowly and carefully.

Check out previous videos below on adding tension to IT Band, Inguinal Ligament Tension, Hip Rotation using long hip muscles.

Peterson Squat Variation for Stronger Knees

This is a version of the Peterson squat that I've been practicing for the last month or so. Basically, it's a squat on one leg with the heel lifted.

While it's generally not recommended to do this exercise if you have knee problems, I've been using it despite my knee problems. And that's what I talk about in this video, how to do the Peterson squat safely even if you do have knee problems.

The main thing is to do it slowly and within a comfortable range of motion.

So that you can gradually extend that range of motion, in this video I talk about the various muscle control actions that I use to make my knees pain free.

ATG Squat and Pistol Squat Progressions

Here's my take on the body weight squat along with some exercises that may help if you can't go all the way down.

If you want to do ATG squats with weight, the tips in this vid may help.

I've also included some ideas on how to work towards the one legged pistol squat.

Some of the more important aspects included are learning to keep your weight centered front to back, stabilizing foot and ankle to help keep the knee safe, and a trick or two for recruiting the gluteus maximus (as well as obturator internus.)

Published: 2018 09 28
Clearly defined poses, exercises and stretches for improving stability, body awareness and flexibility.
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