Yoga for Mobility Artwork
Season 1 - Episode 4

Befriending Balance

30 min - Practice


Fall in love with balance poses and celebrate the many ways we can find balance in our practice. In this fun, playful class we will wake up our core, move through asymmetrical poses that help stabilize the mind, and drop into standing balance mobilization practices. You will feel alert and invigorated.
What You'll Need: Mat, Blanket, Block

About This Video


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Hello, everyone, thanks for being here. I look forward to sharing practice with you today to help you potentially fall a little bit more in love with balance poses. And we'll celebrate many different ways we can balance in our practice to help us be a little more successful and have a little bit more fun in class. I think it'll be helpful if you have a blanket and a block. And I'm going to invite you to grab your blanket to start with today and to have that folded to sit on. And if you can come to a cross legged seat, let's come to a cross legged seat and maybe slide yourself up towards the front edge of that blanket so your pelvis is tilting forward and helping you create that nice long tall spine. So once you're here to this vertical place, now I'm going to ask you to start ungrounding yourself by tipping a little bit to the left and then tilting your torso a little bit to the right. And we're going to just start again with just gradual kind of tipping, getting might feel like a little bit off center as you go side to sides and just welcoming that feeling again of being maybe a little bit less grounded, but a little bit maybe more eventually in a flow going side to side. I'm just feeling these different corners of the hips you might meet as you tip. Now if we introduce a little bit of forward tipping as you move then maybe to your right and back and then left, let yourself kind of tune into what places in the pelvis you meet as you roll around in this way and what parts of your torso you connect to as you're circling around and even getting up into kind of your shoulder area. So every now and then you might feel like you're a little bit off balance as you go forward right or left and you kind of tip back around to what might feels like centered. We're just exploring what it's like to be a little bit off balance as we circle around knowing our sit bones won't always be firmly rooted to the floor. And then bring yourself as you're ready now up to more of a long tall neutral seats. Now I want to invite you here to let your arms reach out in front of you as you round maybe a little bit back and let your hands meet in front of you and let your arms reach up and back as you tilt a little bit forward opening your chest and then tip a little bit back as your your hands reach forward. Arms reach up and back as you come into a little bit of a back bend then curling being a little bit off balance kind of tipping back come a little bit forward in the pelvis as you tip forward and what feels like a healthy amount for you to play going back and forth. Try maybe just one or two more opening back body and then opening your front body. All right now if we can come back from rounding and let your hands slide back and the blanket that you're sitting on if we can move that back out of the way and then bring your feet in front of you. So I'm going to have you bring your hands behind you to support you as you lean back my fingers are facing away from each other feet wider than my shoulders. Let's tip over to your left side with your knees come back to center and then adjust yourself so you can easily tip over to your right sides and we often call this maybe the windshield wiper move in yoga and you're massaging a little bit these outer glute hip muscles lengthening through the front of one hip down through your thigh quadricep area and kind of just navigating in and out of what might feel like you're a little bit off balance as you're rolling to one side and maybe we use our arms to stabilize us as we let the legs move side to side and warm up. Now we'll maybe let your legs stay tilted over to your right sides and then keep your right hand down as you swing your left arm over to the right and then up towards your ear and up towards the ceiling and then from here take your left hand back over towards your left foot bring your left hand again up towards your ears you look maybe back to the right maybe look forward again as your hand swings back past your left foot swing your left arm back up by your ear maybe look to the right left hand back over to the left next time your left arm reaches up by your ear look down at your lower right wrist press into the floor with your right hand as you lift your right buttock and hips and press your hips forward as you keep looking down towards that right wrist as you come down swing your left hand towards the left knee and maybe you adjust the angle of your right wrist so the wrist is fingers are facing away from your right leg as you lift the second time and see if that feels better as you lift your hip look down bring your left hand back towards your left foot and one last time lift your left hand lift your hips look towards your right hand as we exit we're going to tip the knees back to neutral and then adjust your knees and feet so you can have your legs facing the left so your left hand is on the floor behind you as we practice now swinging your right arm up towards your ear and maybe look to the right bring your right hand back towards your right foot right hand swings up by your ear and then maybe we'll turn to look down towards your lower left hand right hand swings back towards your foot you're just kind of going back and forth to warm up and lengthen through that right side release this last time let's keep that right arm up in the air look down at your lower left hand maybe turn your fingers away from your hip as you press your hip up off the floor and we balance keep reaching up towards the ceiling with your top right hand and lower down one more time swing that right arm up by your ear reach up towards the ceiling and then try to lift your left thigh buttock off the floor as you look down so we're balancing asking a little bit more of that lower left hand and then exit right as we tip the knees back to neutral we're going to come into a little bit of a boat variation where you might face the short end of your mat and hold on to the front of your knees as you soften a little bit into your back a little bit of a soft c-shape now reach your hands out in front of you and then lift your left foot up towards the ceiling and bring that left foot down bring your right foot up towards the ceiling lean back and bring your right foot down again we'll do a little bit of leaning back as much as you're comfortable left foot goes up left foot comes down as you lean forward tip a little bit back take your right foot up lean forward let's do one more time where you lean a little bit back left foot up lean forward and then as you lean back the right leg goes up right now as you come down hands on the floor at your side so that you can tilt over and be on your right sides when you are on your right side bring your right forearm down so you're parallel to the short end of the yoga mat and see that the elbow is more or less under your shoulder use your left hand for a moment to help you lift the right rib cage away from the ground until you feel these muscles on the side of your arm those serratus interior muscles helping you hold that shoulder blade in place then we'll take your left hand up towards the ceiling now let's see what it feels like when you push your feet down and your right elbow down to swing your hips up off the floor and we'll do another balance pose bring your hip back down and see what that feels like to reach for the ceiling as you swing your right hip up and we find our little balance pose come down imagine again that lower ribs still lifted as you again lift your hips up and now maybe we'll hold as you keep reaching out if you enjoy a little bit extra play or challenge take that top left arm down by your ear if you like you might even kick that leg out and get a full stretch challenging your balance even more this way one more moment here and then we'll come down right as you tilt yourself up swing your feet around and maybe we'll get to the other sides as you take your left forearm down parallel to the short end of your mat legs are bent and i always like on this first one to actually use my eyes to look down and see my left elbow is more or less under my shoulder then use the right hand to physically pick up my left waist so i'm really clear that i've got a nice long left waist and those muscles on the side of my chest the serratus anterior muscles are engaged to help stabilize my shoulder blade right arm up in the air whenever you're ready and see now if you can push down in your elbow and feet and swing your hips up and then bring the hips down as you reach for the ceiling see if that helps create some momentum to lift your hips and then come down if you're not actually lifting just keep hoping that the hips are going to lift one of these days they'll come up surprise you come down and maybe this last time we do a little bit of lifting or keep imagining and then maybe we like the arm down by the ear so your right arm would stretch down by your ear keep lifting your lower waist and then kick out maybe through that top leg as we do that big challenge for the shoulders here one more moment just noticing again you're still having some fun here balance different every day and then as we exit right now as we exit we're going to turn and face the short end of your mat and set up maybe in that tabletop if you like some padding underneath your knees you could also recruit that blanket again put it under your knees so i'm gonna have you for a moment keep your hands out in front as you move your hips back and lower your head down a little bit towards the floor just so you get a little read on your knees for a moment bring yourself back to tabletop now we're going to take your right arm up by your ear or close to that height keep that arm floating as you move your hips back in space and then come forward put your right hand on the ground lift your left arm up so we're doing a little balancing kind of going back into child's pose with your left arm still reaching up come again forwards right arm comes up as you move your hips back a few inches or maybe you're going back so your butt almost gets down towards your heels come forward right hand down left arm floats up by the ear as you move your hips back in space as far as your knees allow come forward let's try one more time with your right arm up by your ear press into the ground with your left hand move your hips back come forward right hand on the floor and then that left arm comes up move your hips back that's how that feels is one side easier than the other and then you've got both hands down when both hands are down curl your toes under and then let's come into our first downward dog where you lift your knees up let your knees potentially bend a little bit shift your weight right left forward and back let's create a little more space in your body here and it's going to be kind of a quick downward dog as we finish wiggling around a little bit as you're ready walk yourself up maybe a little bit more towards the middle or top of the mat when you bend your knees let's catch your block and come up to standing with a block right now i want to invite you to take your block if you know you like the medium width go for medium width so when i'm using mostly these days or bring yourself to the more narrow width if that feels a little bit more stable for you so as you look down see that your toes are facing straight ahead and unlock your knees if you tend to lock we're trying to squeeze the block with the upper part of your thighs so when the arms are side let's inhale and raise your right arm up by your ears you lift your heels up on the inhale and then your arm comes down as your heels come down the left arm comes up as you lift your heels left arm down with the heels down both arms come up as you lift your heels and try to keep your heels up squeeze your block as you bend your knees like you would in chair pose hug the block with your legs heels down arms down that's again raise your right arm and your heels up right arm down heels down left arm up heels up left arm down heels down both heels up both arms up try to keep your heels up hands high as you come into your chair with your heels potentially lifted heels down arms down one more time right arm up heels up arm down heels down left arm up heels up lower down and both arms up both heels up balance might be coming and going and then chair as you pause for a second okay now come into straight legs arms down we're gonna grab that block and turn it into the wide position maybe bring your feet just a smidge closer together and then take your block up in the air above your head shift your weight over onto your left foot now and try to bring your right knee up towards the ceiling you just notice how the balance is going on the left side take your block down to meet the inside of that right knee and give it a little squeeze into the block and then bring your right foot down to the right and then bring your right foot down as your arms come back up to hold that block shift to your right and try to lift your left knee and just notice how balance is going on your left side keep your left hand high and take the block down to squeeze into the inner left knee take the block back up shift your weight again to your left see what it's like a second time to bring your right knee up bring the block down to meet the inner right knee give a little squeeze go back up shift your weight to the right and take your left knee up and keep your left hand high as you bring the block down to meet the inside of that left knee and then go back up all right arms down let's go ahead and get rid of that block for a moment and with your block to the side now i'm going to have you stand maybe with your feet hip distance apart another little standing sequence as you micro bend your knees and ankles shift your weight a tiny bit to the left and try to feel like you're sliding a towel forward with your right foot so left leg stays bent left knee is forward facing and then sometimes the arms are helpful to move out to the side as you feel like you're sliding that towel out to the right as you slide your foot behind you bring your right arm forward in space and as the right leg crosses back your right arm reaches to the left come back around with your foot out to the right look straight ahead and then from here take your right foot and hang your ankle over the left knee now maybe your arms reach a little bit forward as you look out beyond your nose down towards the floor and then we'll come to arms down at your side right foot on the ground all right big breath in and out hands maybe up to your hips as you shift your weight over to your right sides slide your left foot forward like you're sliding a blanket forward or a towel as the leg goes out to the side arms go to the side see balance comes and goes slide your left foot back as your left arm reaches forwards opening that left side body and the arms go back out to the side left foot out to the side paws take your left ankle hang it over that right knee and then see if you might go into kind of a deeper chair seat as your hips move back arms come forward whoa and you create all kinds of cool new moves and then you're back to standing right so let's try that again we were i was intending to do this more than once so let's see how it goes the second time slide your right foot forward it's usually easier once you know what we're doing arms open out to the side right leg back right leg goes all the way back because your right arm reaches over to the left right arm back out to the right keep your arms keep your arms there for balance as you hang your right ankle over that left knee deepen into that chair like position as your hips go back arms come forward and then come back to standing hold on to the top of the hips bend your ankles and knees slide your left foot a little forward slide out and the arms go out slide your left foot back as your left arm reaches forward maybe look a bit to the right leg back out arms out to the sides and keep your arms there for balance as your left ankle hangs over right knee continues to be the challenging side move your hips back arms forward experiencing that one more breath and then straight legs arms down how about so much more fun we should try that one more time bend your ankles and knees slide your right foot forward right leg out to the right right leg back as your right arm reaches over to the left look down to the left arms back out left right leg back out right ankle over left knee sit back as your arms reach forward and then come back to standing last one bend your ankles and knees a little bit slide your left foot forward open your arms as your left leg goes to the left left leg slides back left arm reaches across the room over to the right look forwards left leg to the side arms stay here as we hang left ankle over right knee figure four send your hips back arms forward and then we're in mountain pose take a moment with your feet maybe a little bit wider and circle your hips around a few times if you were holding your breath it might feel nice to take fuller breaths here sometimes the balance poses creates a little more tightness and constriction so shake it out and then bring your feet a little closer together okay one more with our arms up when your arms are up please shift your weight to your left and we're going to do that external rotation in your right leg to do that kind of low tree pose where your bottom right foot is on the floor now I want you to try to bring your right elbow and right knee towards each other and then go back up bring your right knee and elbow towards each other and then come back to tree elbow and knee touch go back up let's do one more elbow and knee touch or coming close to touching and then hands stay up now let's try your other side so shift to your right external rotation in that left leg low tree and then trying to bring that knee towards your elbow come back to your kind of rooted tree elbow to knee back to that rooted tree elbow to knee oh the rooted tree and then the last time I believe elbow to knee and then let your arms come down and take a moment as you let your feet again separate and just let yourself shake or circle whatever helps you get rid of any tension if you are holding any tension all right now let's go ahead and take a spin and face the short top end of your yoga mat and when you're facing this top end of your chest you want to bring your hands together and bend your ankles and knees and please bring your hands together in front of your chest so elbows are wide we're kind of in a chair-like position I'm going to step back with your right foot into warrior one as you open up your chest into that open-hearted warrior and then step back into your chair the hands together feet together warrior one footprint with your arms open chest open and we come back with your hands and feet together so maybe you find a different rhythm where we step back warrior open chest back to the chair step back warrior and you're alternating one foot at a time and maybe you're noticing you can step back a little further it's not required to find a fun rhythm of going from warrior one into your chair warrior one into your chair and trying to be graceful fluid flowing back and forth let's do one more cycle see if that repetition is helpful and finding a little bit more joy playfulness and then pause in your chair from that chair we're going to fold over those legs and give your back a break as you fold over your very bent knees bent ankles to make it easier to touch the floor and drop into a few deep breaths here maybe one more moment as you are here settling into that forward fold and then maybe deepen in the legs so as we exit we use the legs to help us come up to standing all the way up to straight legs arms up and then arms come down now let's step back out to face the long end of the yoga mat and let your feet wander a little bit further out towards the edges turn your heels in at some point and bend your knees and so we come into that high squat position which maybe you've already noticed it's a little bit of a balanced pose it's kind of a sneaky one it's not so obvious so see if you're tipping forward or tipping back or where's that edge where you have to pay a little bit more attention and then when you're here let's go ahead and start with the hands in front of the chest and sink down into your legs and then open your arms into what I often call goal post arms and then from goal post arms will come up into standing x and then try to come down and keep your balance as you come into that squat inhale going towards standing x and back into that squat and all the while just going straight up and down versus leaning forward which might throw you more off balance going up and then coming down now over that last time we go up and I'll invite you to come back down and as we come back down we'll just tip forward and touch the ground with your hands as you look down towards the floor and maybe move your feet just a tiny bit wider apart and let your hips shift a little bit to the left bend that left knee deeper bend your right knee to the right and bend that leg a little deeper so the opposite leg goes straighter and just feel how you're shifting your balance and your weight side to sides is one side feel easier to tip too than the other and try to keep your feet rooted to the floor as you're tipping your weight a little bit side to sides stretching through the inner legs front of ankles lots of different places you might feel that stretch maybe one more visit to each side shifting your weight to one side and then the other and then if we tip back to center if your toes are facing straight ahead walk your hands out so they're right underneath your shoulder line like you're doing plank pose and then raise your heels up off the floor working maybe a little edge of balance and then heels down then heels down lift your heels off the floor and then heels down one more heels up like you're prepping for a handstand and then come down kind of like we did in child's pose now see what it's like if you raise your left hand off the floor and reach forward as you swing your hips back an inch or two bring your left hand back to the floor right under the shoulder line bring your right arm up off the floor and swing your hips back a couple inches tip forward right hand on the floor maybe one more time see if that left arm left hand comes off the floor and tilt back a couple of inches back to both hands down one last time lift your right arm up just challenge the balance a little bit more as you swing your hips back and we come back to both hands on the floor like you're doing a prep for a handstand bring your feet gradually slowly towards each other and when your feet feel close enough together that you can easily transfer one hand back bend your knees and we'll come down to sit and we'll encourage you to maybe grab a hold of your blanket again just a thin fold of a blanket to have a little something to sit on as you cross your ankles if you're okay in this position and with your ankles crossed similar to what we did at the beginning first kind of find your center and then start to rock to the left back to center rock to your right so you're lifting one sit bone off the ground and you're mindfully consciously being off center and when you're tipping you might even feel a little bit of recruitment of some core muscles to stabilize you so you don't completely fall to a side so it's a little bit still core engaging and then as we did in the beginning you might tip forward and let some of your torso come forward and we'll circle around again like we did at the beginning our little bookends today of our movement okay circling around a few times noticing the sit bones come off the floor and then they come down and all the while maybe feel like you're doing a little massage for the buttock area the lower back mid back let's go your other direction a few times and sometimes when you move in that new pattern that different way you will really actually feel different muscles of your back or hips or shoulders if for whatever reason if for whatever reason you didn't feel on that first time around when you're done let's go ahead and settle back into what would feel like center where we do feel actually balanced from right to left so do your little exploring front to back top to bottom and then maybe with the eyes more looking inward or your eyes closed just try to see if you can sense is there a little more energy to the right or is the right side of the body feel taller than the left and can you even out lengthen through your spine and as you imagine you're taking your breath in and down can we feel that fullness of the lungs expanding creating more space in the ribs right to left front to back and then a few moments trying to pay attention to the lungs and can we feel that they're expanding top to bottom feeling taller and longer as we're expanding the breath and the lungs at the end of your exhale trying to really tune in again to your sense of center and then elongating from that place on inhale returning to the center on exhale right as you're ready they're leaving your hands on your knees or perhaps your hands come together in front of your hearts and just acknowledging all the effort and focus you've brought to the practice today and thanks so much for joining me i hope your practice continues to not only serve you but also contribute to the well-being of others namaste take care


Jennifer E
3 people like this.
Loving this Yoga for Mobility series! Thank you so much for these classes, Melina!!
Melina Meza
1 person likes this.
I'm so happy to hear you're loving this new series! I hope these classes become your go-to classes when your joints need some hydration!
David G-
2 people like this.
Hey friend: I laughed during this. You kept on getting me out of balance (and I had horrible balance and lazy brain last night), but then my mood spiked with the laughter and I was bummed it was only thirty minutes. Great hydration for sure! Hope you take some beautiful pictures this weekend. Best, David 
Melina Meza
Laughter pairs well with balance poses right?! Off to the Sierras in 30 get my fill of autumn colors!!!
2 people like this.
Cool practice! Fun variations on balance poses - loved it!
David G-
1 person likes this.
Melina Meza I will check Facebook. I am interested in the photography class, but too much on my plate right now. I would love a season at YA just about getting out of balance and laughing. 
Pat Pao
4 people like this.
Loved this practice too!  The standing balanced flow really appealed to my inner ballet dancer :) 
Sandra Židan
Beautiful practice! Thank you very much, Melina, for sharing it with us! I love your creativity and your style of teaching in every practice you bring to us! Namaste! 💝🌼🌹💖
Lauren F
2 people like this.
This was the perfect grounding practice after a long and dizzying plane ride. Melina, you're the best as always! xo

Melina Meza
I so love knowing you do these practices Lauren!!! Sending much love your way and welcome home.
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