Yoga standing postures are ideal poses to help you develop your concentration skills, balance and flexibility. Through them you learn how to connect with all parts of your body. They also develop strength, confidence and focus.
When you are new to yoga it can be quite challenging to stay still, focus and balance in a standing pose.
The following standing sequence is designed to help you develop the inner strength and focus needed to do standing balancing poses.
As with all forms of exercise, please exercise caution and respect for your body.
1. The Mountain Pose/Tadasana
The mountain pose forms the foundation of all standing poses. It teaches you to stand correctly and forms the starting point for the Sun Salutation and for all the standing poses. If you think of how strong and solid a mountain is, this image will stand you in good stead as you practice this pose
Coming Into The Pose:
a) Stand with your feet together. If it is comfortable for you, have the big toes, inner ankles and inner heels touching. Spread the weight evenly over the feet.
b) Tighten your kneecaps and pull up the thigh muscles and your lower abdomen.
c) Breathe and feel your spine lengthening, let your tailbone sink and lift in the front of the body. Feel your chest opening. Allow your arms to hang down the sides of the body with the palms facing the legs, fingers gently extending towards the floor.
d) Relax your shoulders, allow your shoulder- blades to slide down. Relax your face, lengthen the back of your neck and look straight ahead
e) Stay steady in this pose for 3 – 10 rounds of deep abdominal breathing.
2. Tree Pose/Vrksasana
This posture tones and stretches the leg muscles and teaches balance. It also encourages calm and inner balance.
a) Stand in tadasana/mountain pose and ‘root’ your left leg into the mat.
b) Gently lift your right leg and place the sole of your right foot high on the left inner thigh (or anywhere between the ankle and thigh, if that is more comfortable.)
c) Inhale and stretch your arms over your head with the palm facing one another. If this feels uncomfortable or unsteady, bend your elbows and press your palms softly together in prayer position.
d) Stay in this pose for 3 – 10 rounds of deep abdominal breathing.
e) Keep the tail bone tucked under and feel the sole of your standing foot connecting with the ground.
f) Come out of the pose and repeat on the opposite side.
3. Standing Forward Bend Pose/Uttanasana
This pose gives your spine an intense stretch. It develops suppleness in the legs, hips and spine. Because the head is down the increased flow of blood to the head soothes the brain. This is a lovely pose to release pressure and tension in the back, shoulders and neck muscles.
a) Stand in the mountain pose with your feet slightly apart, directly in line with your hips. Your arches are next to each other and the toes level. Keep the knees and legs straight.
b) Lift your arms over your head, fold your arms – and take each hand onto the opposite elbow. Inhale and draw up your knees, thighs, lower abdomen and spine.
c) Exhale and extend your truck forward from your hips. Fold forwards and extend your trunk down to the floor, keep the legs straight and extend the trunk and arms nearer to the floor.
d) Take 5 – 15 breaths, relaxing and releasing tension from the back, shoulders and neck each time you breathe out (if this posture strains your back, take the feet wider apart and turn the toes slightly inwards and rest the front of your ribs
Regularly practice these three yoga standing postures and with time, you will notice how much calmer, relaxed and balance you feel. When you feel like this, it is much easier for you to concentrate and focus and life flows with ease.