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Yoga – The Benefits of Standing Poses

Standing poses in Yoga make walking an easy and spontaneous movement where your feet and legs are strong, your shoulders and arms are relaxed and your spine adjusts to the pull of gravity. For many people, this seemingly simple gift of movement is lost because of modern life. We engage in daily activities that make us feel tense and tight in our shoulders, our back and maybe our hips. We have lost touch with our contact with the earth through our feet.

In standing poses you become aware of your heels (or heel) being firmly connected to the earth which creates a secure base where you can exhale and lengthen the spine. Be mindful and observe the moment in the exhalation where the body naturally releases and can stretch.

Standing postures are Asanas that you can stay in, as long as you can release tension and lengthen when you exhale. If you observe that you are creating tension to hold onto the pose then you have stayed in the pose for too long.

Tree Pose – Vrksasana

Before we take a look at tree pose just think about a tree. It has its roots deeply anchored into the earth and its trunk is strong while its branches reach up towards the sky.

In this pose you stand on one leg and when you do, feel that you are drawn onto a straight line of gravity that roots your foot down into the earth while your spine lengthens up. Alignment in this pose is important and that starts with a strong foundation through the feet.

  1. Start by standing in Tadasana – mountain posture. Stand with your feet slightly apart and make sure that the outer blades of your feet are parallel. This will allow you to feel the weight in your heels. Then as you exhale feel your weight being pulled down towards the earth while your spine lengthens and grows up towards the sky. Your feet must be completely stable so you can feel the correct balance. Try to distribute your weight evenly between the heel, base of the big toe and base of the little toe, of each foot. Also try to balance the weight between the right and left side.
  2. Now transfer the weight into your right foot, this will be your standing leg and on an exhale fold your left leg letting the thigh rotate outwards. Place the heel of the left foot either just above the ankle or just above the knee of the standing leg, creating a lock between the foot and the thigh (or calf).
  3. Keeping your shoulders and neck relaxed and your spine long. On an Inhalation you can reach your arms up above your head and if you want to challenge yourself lift your gaze.
  4. Then repeat this posture on the other side.

Categorised as: Yoga