Balance is one of those things that can silently slip away like a neglected friendship. From a physical perspective a lack of balance literally can make you fall flat on your face with no one around to pick you up. Since no one wants that, how about rekindling your relationship with balance by way of four common yoga poses?

Building better balance doesn’t have to be elaborate if you keep a few simple concepts in mind. Any time you reduce your base of support you challenge your balance. In some poses, this means bringing your feet closer together or lifting a foot or hand off of the ground. Another way to improve balance can be to play with extension. When you adjust limb length by bending or lengthening, you add a layer of complexity. The third thing you can experiment with is adding movement to a pose.

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The 4 Yoga Poses Below Take These Concepts to Heart

yoga poses1) Chair Pose.

Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Extend your arms up so they are right next to your ears. Start bending your knees. Sink into the pose until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Hold the position for a few breaths. Place your feet close together to decrease your base of support. For more of a challenge, lift your heels and balance on the balls of your feet.

2) Tree Pose.

While standing, shift your weight onto your right foot. Bring the sole of your left foot to the inside of your right ankle. If that is easy for you, place your left foot on the inside of the right calf or even higher up on your right inner thigh. Then, become a “Swaying Tree.” Interlace your fingers and take your arms over head. Point to the ceiling with your index fingers. Do a slow side-bend to the right. Come back to center. Then do a side-bend to the left. Repeat several times before switching feet.

3) Boat Pose.

Sit on the ground with your knees bent and the soles of your feet on the ground. Lean back to a 45-degree angle. With your hands on the ground next to you, lift your feet off of the ground until your thighs are at a 45-degree angle. Lift your hands off of the ground and extend your arms next to your ears. Add difficulty by straightening both legs so you look like a “v.”

4) Side Plank.

Kneel on the ground. Lean to your right and place your right palm on the ground so your hand is directly underneath your shoulder. Extend your left leg to the side as you reach your left hand to the ceiling. Reduce your base of support by straightening your base leg and stacking your feet on top of each other. “Thread the Needle” by sweeping your left hand down through the space under your right side. Then reach back up to the ceiling. Repeat a few times before switching sides.

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