How to Use Yoga to Improve BalancePosted: July 27, 2010 in Getting Active by Craig Primack MD FACP
If you’ve noticed that your balance isn’t what it used to be, you may be tempted to blame advancing age. However, it’s more likely that your deteriorating balance is a result of weakened muscles. Practicing yoga can help restore and improve your balance.
Holding yoga poses helps you to become more aware of how your body works. You’ll begin to notice small ways that you can maintain your balance better by tightening or relaxing certain muscles. It also helps you to become more familiar with your center of gravity. Over time, you’ll notice that you’re aware of these things even when you’re not doing yoga, and you’ll learn to respond to tightness or imbalance by relaxing specific muscles.
Practicing yoga also strengthens the many muscles that help stabilize your body throughout the day. Although you may wobble (or even fall over!) when you first start, you’ll be able to hold your poses more easily as your stabilizing muscles get stronger. You’ll also be improving your reflexes, which can help you avoid trips and falls in your everyday life. Yoga will also increase your chances of weight loss.
Yoga can be used to tone muscles and improve balance at any age. It may not seem as intense as other strength training exercises, but it will produce results with consistent practice.