3 Ways To Improve Your Balance Now!

We are always using our balance in everyday life whether it is taking a walk down the street, riding your bike, doing squats on a bosu, hiking on an uneven trail or even just going up and down the stairs.  Sometimes we take our balance for granted, so take a moment to honor your body's amazing ability to balance and engage in a variety of activities everyday!

Balance training is important for everyone, from athletes to casual exercisers.  You might not realize how important having good balance is until you experience an injury or maybe even a fall (let's hope it doesn't come to this!).  

There are many ways to improve your balance such as standing on one leg or using workout equipment such as a bosu or stability ball that creates that added challenge.  The following variations on one exercise can be done without any equipment and will improve your balance today!  Try these three variations on tree pose to improve your balance.  Tree pose not only improves balance, but also strengthens the thighs, calves, ankles, and spine, stretches the groins and inner thighs, chest and shoulders, and also relieves sciatica and reduces flat feet.  Give it a try!

Version 1

Stand in Mountain Pose with both feet on the floor.  Shift your weight slightly onto the left foot, keeping the inner foot firm to the floor, and bend and lift your right knee. Place your right foot on your ankle, calf or thigh (not on the knee).  Press the right heel into the inner left groin, calf or ankle toes pointing toward the floor. The center of your pelvis should be directly over the left foot.  Rest your hands on your hips.  Make sure the pelvis is in a neutral position and lengthen your tailbone toward the floor.  While pressing the right foot into the left leg, resist with the outer left leg.  Hold and breathe for 10 breaths.  Step back into Mountain Pose and switch to the other side.   

Version 2

Follow the same steps above, but place the hands in Prayer Position in front of the chest instead of placing the hands on the hips.  Gaze softly at a fixed point in front of you on the floor about 4 or 5 feet away.  Hold each side for 10 breaths.  

Version 3

Follow the same steps as in version 1 and this time extend the arms straight up to the sky.  Find something to fix your gaze on 4 to 5 feet away.  Hold each side for 10 breaths.

Bonus Challenge

Try all three versions with your eyes closed!  Your vision is a big part of being able to hold your balance and when we fix our gaze on one spot it is easier to balance.  Did you notice?  You can try shifting your gaze and notice what happens and then perhaps close the eyes.  This is not for beginners, but give it a try after you have mastered the above exercises.  Be sure to use your best judgement and listen to your body putting safety first! 

Balance training is an important component of your exercise routine.  By incorporating the above exercises you will notice an immediate improvement in not only your balance but also in flexibility, strength, posture, coordination and core strength.  I hope as you get stronger this will give you the confidence to pursue new and exciting fitness goals and adventures!

Much Love,
Heather Feather 


1) Do Three Mini Sun Salutations.  Simply stand in Mountain pose with your hands in namaste or prayer position.  Close your eyes and feel your feet on the ground and your breath moving in and out.  Inhale and reach the arms up overhead.  Exhale and fold forward, fingertips to the group.  Inhale and halfway lift, hands on your shins right below your knees and extend through your arms and spine with your gaze forward.  Exhale and fold forward, fingertips to the ground.  Inhale and reach the arms back up to the sky.  Exhale, bring your palms back to heart center in namaste or prayer position.  Repeat 2 more times.  

2) Get Outside!  Go for a hike.  Our 3 favorite places to hike in Cincinnati are Ault Park, Mt Airy Forest and Red Bird Hollow.  You can find 3-4 miles of trails at Ault Park, 8+ miles at Mt Airy Forest and 4 miles at Red Bird Hollow.  Nature literally changes our brain and creates more space for creativity, calm and overall health.

3)  Spike Your Water.  Place peppermint oil in your water for an energetic kick.  If you   
     are feeling low on energy peppermint oil might give you the lift you need!  Be sure   
     you drink plenty of water each day.  8 glasses of water is recommended.  The  
     peppermint oil

4)  Make Yourself A Healthy Snack!  Try these Raw Carrot Cake Balls!  Making
     yourself healthy food is a fantastic self-care practice.

5)  Meet With A Friend.  Talking with a good friend can be the best therapy!  Meet a
     friend for a hike, go out for coffee or tea, meet at a yoga class or if you can’t meet in  
     person pick up the phone!  Sometimes a long talk with a friend is just the medicine I need ;)  


Top 10 Reasons To Visit Mt Leconte Lodge & The Smoky Mountains

I hope you will join me this July for The Be Fierce & Flourish Mt Leconte Climb Adventure!  It's going to be amazing.  Read the 10 reasons why below!

10. Mt Leconte Lodge is the highest guest lodge in the Eastern United States and is just one of only 5 Hike In Lodges in The United States.

8. The hike up to the lodge is AMAZING with scenic views galore!!!

7. You will experience unforgettable sunsets and sunrises.

6. There are amazing rivers!!

5. We will float down The Little River in an inner tubes after hiking up Mt Leconte - you will be refreshed and be delighted by the small rapids on the float.

4. We will eat amazing food!!

3. It is ONLY 4 hours from Cincinnati!!!

2. We will rock out with yoga and meditation on the mountain top - you will be transformed.

1. You will feel like a BADASS when you reach the top of Mt Leconte and by the time you head home - you will be ready to be so fierce to flourish!!

Top 5 Yoga Stretches for Hikers & Runners

I run and hike.....ALOT!  I would not be going the distances I go or doing it as often as I do if I did not practice yoga on a regular basis.  restorative yoga is my favorite type of yoga because I am a naturally busy person and love to move.  Restorative yoga makes me slow down and my mind and body benefit a ton.  If you are like me and love to exercise you will no doubt love restorative yoga too.  Check out my 5 favorite stretches with photos below to give you a visual.  I hope this will help to keep you on the trail and on course with your fitness goals!  I hope to see you on an Into The Wild Tour Yoga, Hiking & Food Adventure!

1) Toes Pose.  Curl your toes under and sit back on your heals.  Do the best you can and try to keep the heels together.  Do this for 1 minute.
2) Low Lunge.  Place on foot forward and the other leg back down on the knee.  Shift your weight forward to stretch the quad.  Do each side 3-5 minutes.
3) Standing Forward Fold.  Stand with your feet together or hip distance.  Fold forward and place your hands on blocks or on the floor.  Take deep breaths and hold 3-5 minutes.
4) Calvesasana - Roll up a blanket and place it between the calves and thighs.  Come into virasana or hero's pose.  The blanket stretches the calves horizontally and gives you a nice stretch to prevent plantar faciitis.  Hold 3-5 minutes, rocking from side to side.
5) Wide Leg Forward Fold Tiger Stretch - Place your feet wide, toes turned in and fold forward. Keep your butt back over your heels and crawl your fingertips forward like you are a tiger or tigress.  Keep your butt back and toes turned inward.  Breath deeply for 3-5 minutes.