Improve your balance – try these standing poses


Do you recall the moment when you almost tripped on slightly uneven or even surface and you quickly recovered without falling?   It was your good balance and co-ordination which saved you from an injury. 

This blog is about a couple of standing poses, standing on one leg.  Regular practice of these will improve your balance, will strengthen your legs and ankles. 

Guruji Iyengar once wrote” “you must hold the balance by the intelligence of the body …. if you do it is relaxation in action”.  

There is a strong connection between mental and physical balance.  If we have a lot on our mind it is harder to focus and be stable in standing poses.

Tree pose (vrksasana)

Tree pose is very gracious. 

I teach it facing the wall which has the advantage that you can keep your hands (or fingertips) on the wall if you need to and you can focus on a fixed point on the wall eye level or above. If you would like a bit more challenge try standing on a yoga block as per the photo on the right.

If you would like less of a challenge stand with your back against the wall and your feet a little away from the wall and repeat the steps above.  Feel the wall behind you, keep your buttocks, shoulder blades in touch with the wall.

Steps to safely to get into the pose and to come out of it:

  • Stand with your big toe basis touching, heels are slightly apart or if your balance  is not that good on the day or lower back is stiff, start with your feet hip width apart;
  • Transfer the weight to your left leg;
  • Come up on your right toes and turn the whole right leg out (away from your centre-line);
  • Raise the right foot to the inside of your left inner thigh.  If your right foot does not go that high you can leave the toes on the floor or push the foot against the inside your calf.  Please do not push the right foot against your left knee!  Engage the muscles of your left inner thigh;
  • If you feel steady on your left foot raise the arms, to the side and above your head.  Have the palms touching and either rest the heels of the hands on your head or bring the hands in front of your chest.  Hold for half a minute or seven/eight cycles of your breath;
  • Lower the arms to shoulder height and simultaneously bring the arms and the right foot down;

Find your balance by standing on both legs.

When you ready repeat on the other side.


Half-moon (ardha chandrasana) – modified version

Have a chair handy or if you are more flexible you can use a block.

If you have enough wall space or steady furniture (like a wardrobe) you can keep your back body against the wall.  This will help with your alignment.


We start this pose with the triangle pose (left photo)

  • Step your left leg about one meter away, and turn it out.  The heel is in line of the middle of the arch of the other foot;
  • Exhale and take the hips to the right, open the side of your trunk and bring the left hand to the chair;
  • Bend the knee and glide the foot towards;
  • Simultaneously straighten your left leg and raise the right leg;
  • If you can keep your arms and shoulders in one line.

To come out of the pose:

  • Bend the left leg, glide the right foot back to trikonasana,
  • Inhale, weight your right heel and left big toe base and raise  your torso up;

Find your balance by standing on both legs.

When you ready repeat on the other side.

Enjoy your practice!

Published by yogateachermary

Yoga teacher - specializing in teaching over 50's, seniors and the not so supple. Qualified 'Relax and Renew' teacher, mediation facilitator and experienced in teaching chair yoga in class or in retirement villages.

6 thoughts on “Improve your balance – try these standing poses

  1. Hi Mary.
    This is most timely as I did indeed trip on uneven footpath yesterday and came a cropper on my face. Luckily no serious damage – just a grazed lip and sore hand!
    See you on Saturday.

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Love that Hippo.

    That’s excellent Mary. Balance is my nightmare on legs.

    I like the idea of facing the wall.

    Cheers Barb


  3. Fabulous, Mary. Much needed for me – balance, strength exercises. Thanks. I especially love the oompa-loompa hippo. Far more balanced than me!

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