Medical Considerations for Balancing Poses

Asana Focus: Balance


Description of Physical Action

Balance is a complex process that enables us to maintain a stable position of choice under both stillness and movement conditions.  Postural reflexes in the nervous system and the middle ear integrate sensors in the neck joints and our senses of vision and proprioception to orient the body in space. Most asanas require some component of balance.  The foundation for Balance asanas is one or both feet or one or both arms.

Valued experience over centuries of practice, and historically described benefits of balance asanas:

  • Have the capacity to improve balance through the principle of specificity of training
  • Strengthen and stabilize muscles surrounding the joints of the body part in contact with the floor or wall.
  • Challenge core strength
  • May create a sense of inner peace and emotional balance once a sense of stability and confidence are achieved.
  • Builds stamina

Potential contraindications:
Variations are recommended for those with:

  • A history of falling
  • Any amount of dizziness
  • People who use mobility aids (cane or a walker).
  • Generalized deconditioning
  • Significant vision loss
  • Significant core muscle weakness