Bringing balance with compensation postures

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Compensation is part of bringing you back into balance, which is a key concept in Yoga. Use compensation postures to unwind or bring your body back into neutral, especially after strenuous postures.

Here are some basic guidelines for using compensation postures:

✓ Use one or two simple compensation postures to neutralize tension you feel in any area of the body after a Yoga posture or sequence.

✓ Always use the conscious breathing we describe in Chapter 5.

✓ Perform compensating postures that are simpler or less difficult than the main posture right after the main posture. Do them dynamically.

✓ Don't follow a strenuous posture with another strenuous posture in the opposite direction. Some Yoga instructors teach the fish posture as compensating for the shoulder stand. However, this combination can cause problems, especially for beginners, so we recommend the less strenuous cobra posture instead.

✓ Use compensation postures even when you feel no immediate need for them, especially after deep back bends, twists, and inverted postures.

✓ Gentle forward bends typically compensate back bends, twists, and side bends.

✓ Many forward bends are self-compensating. However, we follow with gentle back bends after doing a lot of forward bending.

✓ Rest after strenuous postures, such as inverted postures or deep back bends, before beginning the compensation postures.

Following are some great compensation postures.

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