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top 10 standing poses with modifications
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top 10 standing poses with modifications

Published: 22-04-2020 - Last Edited: 15-06-2021

woman in blue outfit in yoga stand-in pose posture dynamic

Ultimate standing yoga postures for strength & balance

It can sometimes be challenging to choose what works best for your body. The standing yoga poses I have listed in this article can work to produce powerful asanas – enhancing stability, flexibility, all you yoga standing postures through strength.

Not only that, but the series of standing asanas below are all connected to activating different chakras, offering a solid foundation. I break them down into ten sections below.

If you feel you’re not ready to tackle some of these standing poses, rest assured, I have included sections in this article on modifications for each Yoga standing posture so that you can feel comfortable and confident no matter how you feel.

Benefits of Standing Poses

Standing poses are ideal for a practice centered on harnessing a sense of strength and grounding. They provide the practitioner with an ability to connect deeply to the earth and cultivate a sense of stability. If you suffer from anxiety, for example, you likely have a root chakra imbalance. Centering practices like those in this article will leave you feeling more secure in both body and mind.





Standing pose is also fantastic for relaxing and stretching the body’s most significant muscle classes, such as the ribs, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and ankles. The Yoga Standing posture balances stability, stamina, agility, and coordination while integrating the whole body. Standing poses allow the body to rotate through the full range of motion in all major joints, preparing it for a deeper standing pose and teaching it to move in an even, integrated manner.

Standing poses promote kinesthetic wisdom, or an organic perception of how the body functions and turns, by bringing attention to balance.

Also Read>>> Best online teacher’s training certification

10 Dynamic Standing Poses For Strength and Balance

1. Chair Standing Pose (Utkatasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

  • Start in mountain standing pose (Tadasana)
  • Keep feet hip-width apart
  • Externally rotate the palms
  • (Inhale) Sweep arms forward and up
  • Align ankles, knees, and hips vertically
  • Lengthen ribcage
  • (Exhale) Bend knees
  • Draw thigh bones into sockets and weight into heels
  • Yearn hip points toward the chin
  • Knit front ribs to find length in the front, sides, and back of the torso

Chair Standing Pose Benefits:

  • Balance
  • Leg Strength
  • Core Stamina
  • Energy
  • Focus
  • Grounding

Associated Chakras:

  • Root
  • Sacral
  • Solar Plexus

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • For balance issues or pregnancy, practice with your back to a wall.
  • For shoulder injuries, bring your hands to your hips or make goal post arms
  • For knee injuries, lessen the angle of your seat and don’t go to the deepest point

2. Standing pose Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

  • Start in Tadasana (Mountain Standing Pose)
  • Keep legs, abdominals, and arms energized and engaged
  • Stand with feet hip-width apart
  • Lift and spread toes
  • Distribute weight evenly through all four corners of both feet
  • Keep thighs engaged and in a neutral position
  • Slightly lift the knee caps and draw inner thighs toward each other
  • Lengthen the front, sides, and back of the torso
  • Gently fold forward
  • Relax the neck and breathe deeply
  • Let gravity pull the spine downward
  • Engage the abdominal muscles
  • Visualize the energy moving through you

Mountain Standing Pose Benefits:

  • Strengthens ankles
  • Clarity
  • Mental focus
  • Low ab toning
  • Calming

Associated Chakra:

  • Root

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • Squeeze a yoga block between the thighs
  • Bend the knees
  • Hold opposite elbows

3. Upward Salute Standing Pose (Urdhva Hastasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

  • Start in Tadasana (Mountain Standing Pose)
  • Keep feet hip-width apart
  • Externally rotate the palms
  • (Inhale) Sweep arms forward and upward
  • Align ankles with the knees and hips vertically
  • Lengthen ribcage
  • (Exhale) Stack shoulders over hips
  • Engage fingers, spreading them wide
  • Keep chin parallel to the floor and relax the jaw

Upward Salute Standing Pose Benefits:

  • Stabilizing
  • Aligns the ankle, hip, and shoulder
  • Chest opener
  • Anxiety relief
  • Strengthens the lower abs
  • Strengthens biceps
  • Grounding

Associated Chakra:

  • Root
  • Heart
  • Throat
  • Third Eye

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • Squeeze a yoga block between the thighs 
  • For tight shoulders, keep the arms wider or forward of the shoulders
  • For neck or shoulder injuries, stay in Tadasana

4. Low Lunge Standing Pose (Ardha Alana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

  • Start in mountain standing pose (Tadasana)
  • (Exhale) Come into a Standing pose Forward Fold (Uttanasana )
  • Bring hands to mat or blocks on either side of the front foot
  • (Inhale) Take a big step back with your left foot
  • (Exhale) Lower the knee and shin onto the mat
  • Point the right toes of your front foot toward the top edge of the mat
  • Stack the knee directly over the ankle
  • Slightly bend the left (back) and curl the toes under
  • Keep hips square front to back and left to right.
  • Knit the front ribs finding length in the show, sides, and back of the torso
  • (Inhale) Sweep arms forward and up
  • Open the chest and externally rotate the upper arms
  • Spread fingers and keep the head and neck in line with the spine

Low Lunge Standing Pose Benefits:

  • Psoas stretch
  • Hip flexor stretch
  • Balance
  • Heart opener
  • Sciatica Relief 
  • Energizing
  • Strengthening

Associated Chakra:

  • Sacral

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • For balance issues, use blocks under the hands
  • For more padding, use a blanket under the back knee
  • For shoulder injuries, bring the hands onto the front thigh

5. Pyramid Standing Pose (Parsovtannasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

  • Start in Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
  • Keep right leg forward, left leg back, and hands-on-hips
  • Point the right toes (front foot) toward the top of the mat
  • Bent the right (front) knee
  • Turn the left foot (back foot) toes out slightly
  • Extend the left (back) leg
  • Square hips directly forward and left to right
  • Knit the front ribs and lengthen the sides of the waist
  • (Inhale) Lengthen the front leg and press your feet down firmly
  • Stack shoulders over hips
  • Bring arms slightly forward and up overhead and spread fingers
  • (Exhale) Fold forward, bringing hands to blocks or mat
  • Hug outer hips toward each other
  • Draw the abdominals in and up and lengthen the sternum

Pyramid Standing Pose Benefits:

  • Balance
  • Core strength
  • Lengthens hamstrings
  • Concentration
  • Quiets the mind

Associated Chakra:

  • Root

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • Bend the front knee
  • For torqued knees, lengthen the stance or allow the back heel to lift 
  • Keep the hands on the outer hips
  • Let the hands come to a chair or wall at hip height

6. Extended Side Angle Standing Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

  • Start in Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)
  • Keep right leg forward and left leg back
  • Align the heel of your front (right) foot with the arch of your back (left) foot
  • Bring hands to hips
  • Point right toes (front foot) toward the top of the mat
  • Bend the right knee (at the front), stacking knee over ankle
  • Keep thigh parallel to the floor and externally rotate
  • Keep left foot (back foot) parallel to the back edge of the mat
  • Lengthen the back left thigh
  • Engage through the outside edge of the back foot
  • Keep hips square to the mat’s side edge
  • Knit the front ribs to find length in the front, sides, and back of the torso
  • Stack shoulders over hips
  • (Exhale) bend the torso to the right
  • Rest the right forearm on the right thigh
  • Lengthen tailbone toward the back heel
  • Spiral the heart toward the ceiling
  • (Inhale) Sweep the left arm up overhead, in line with the left ear
  • Keep head and neck in line with the spine

Main Benefits:

  • Strengthen core
  • Tone quadriceps and obliques
  • Balance
  • Stretch shoulders
  • Stamina
  • Heart opener

Associated Chakra:

  • Root
  • Sacral
  • Solar Plexus

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • For balance issues, practice with the back to a wall
  • For tight hips, stand heel to heel
  • For shoulder injuries, place atop hand on hip

7. Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

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  • Start in mountain Standing pose (Tadasana)
  • (Exhale) Step back with the left foot and bring hands to hips
  • Point right toes (front foot) toward the top of the mat
  • Keep left foot (back foot) parallel to the mat’s back edge
  • Align heel of the front foot with arch of the back foot
  • Bend the right (front) knee and stack it over the ankle
  • Keep thigh externally roasted and parallel to the floor
  • Lengthen left (back) thigh, engaging through the outside edge of the left (back) foot
  • Keep hips square to the mat’s side edge
  • Knit front ribs to find length in the front, sides, and back of the torso
  • Stack shoulders over hips
  • (Inhale) Arms up overhead
  • (Exhale) Arms parallel to the floor and in line with shoulders
  • Gaze over right (front) middle finger

Main Benefits:

  • Strengthen legs
  • Stretch hips
  • Balance
  • Concentration
  • Shoulder opener
  • Energizing
  • Sciatica relief
  • Grounding

Associated Chakra:

  • Sacral
  • Heart

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • Keep the front of the knee back behind the ankle if having it stacked is painful
  • For balance issues, practice with the back to a wall
  • For shoulder injuries, keep hands on hips
  • For neck injuries, keep your gaze facing ahead

8. Standing pose Forward Fold (Uttanasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: BEGINNER

  • Start in mountain Standing pose (Tadasana)
  • (Inhale) Sweep the arms slightly forward and up
  • Come into Urdhva Hastasana (Extended Standing Pose)
  • Exhale into a forward fold, hinging at the hips, bringing hands to the mat
  • Root the heels, widen the calves and lift the knee caps
  • Align hip with ankles and knees 
  • Firm the hips in and back
  • Engage the outer hips, pointing hip bones down
  • Draw heart toward thighs
  • Draw shoulders down toward the back, away from the ears
  • Release the top of the head, letting it fall toward the floor

Main Benefits:

  • Stretch hamstrings
  • Mild inversion
  • Reduce blood pressure
  • Soothe headaches
  • Tone abs and organs
  • Stretch spinal extensors
  • Calm the mind
  • Soothe the nerves
  • Stretch lower back
  • Cooling

Associated Chakra:

  • Root
  • Sacral

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • Micro-bend the knees
  • Practice Half Standing pose Forward Fold (Ardha Uttanasana)
  • Take the feet wider apart
  • Hold onto opposite elbows

9. Dancer Standing Pose (Natarajasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: INTERMEDIATE

  • Start in mountain (Tadasana)
  • Release right arm by the side; palm turned out
  • Bring left hand to left hip
  • Root into the left foot, bend the right knee, lift the heel, and come onto right tiptoes
  • Focus gaze slightly down and a few feet in front
  • Bend the right knee deeply, lifting the leg and bringing the right foot toward the right glute
  • Hold onto the inside of the right foot or ankle with the right hand
  • (Inhale) Sweep the left arm up
  • Firm low abs in an up and knit the front ribs to find length in the front, sides, and back of the torso
  • (Exhale) Move the torso forward and slightly toward the floor
  • Kick the right foot back and up
  • Yearn the hips and torso toward the square

Main Benefits:

  • Mental clarity
  • Balance
  • Shoulder opener
  • Strengthen core
  • Reduce stress

Associated Chakra:

  • Heart
  • Third Eye

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • For balance issues, practice with a hand on the wall
  • Practice using a strap around the foot
  • Remain upright

10. Half Moon Standing Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Standing yoga poses Practice Level: INTERMEDIATE

  • Start in Triangle (Trikonasana)
  • Move the right leg forward and the left leg back, using a block under the right hand
  • (Exhale) Bring the left hand onto the hip and bend into the right (front) knee
  • (Inhale) Bring the block to the top of the mat, in front of the request (front foot)
  • Lift left (back leg) and flex foot with toes pointed toward the long edge of the mat
  • Pull up through the arch of the foot
  • Lift the quadriceps and knee cap
  • Firm the outer hip
  • Continue to flex the foot of the elevated leg
  • Externally rotate the thigh and lift through the outer hip
  • Keep hips square to the edge of the mat
  • Firm low abs in and up and knit the front ribs to find length in the front, sides, and back of the torso
  • (Inhale) Sweep the left arm forward and up, spreading fingers wide

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Half Moon Standing Pose Main Benefits:

  • Balance
  • Core strength
  • Release inner thighs
  • Firm outer hip
  • Digestion
  • Stress relief

Associated Chakra:

  • Root
  • Sacral

Standing yoga poses Modification Instructions:

  • For balance issues, practice with the back against the wall
  • For shoulder injuries, keep the top hand remaining on hip
  • Practice using a chair under the arm or leg

Final Thoughts

Standing yoga poses can build a lot of heat and channel energy in profound ways. They’re also easy to modify, making them accessible to all levels. Many of them can even be modified for partner yoga! Give these a try and see how you feel. I’ll see you on the mat.

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