8 Reasons to do Standing Yoga Poses
Standing yoga poses can be used in a variety of different ways.
Rather than saying "This Pose Does This", the idea is that you can have a particular intent and then do the poses in such a way as to suit that intent.
The 8 reasons to do yoga poses listed here are actually different ideas you can focus on to better learn your body.
8 reasons to do standing yoga poses TOC
Below are 8 possible ways (intents or purposes) that you can deliberately use standing yoga poses.
Standing poses are a great way to practice feeling your center of gravity.
So that you can learn to feel your center of gravity, try moving it.
Then notice the changes in pressure in your feet as you shift your weight.
- Standing Forward Bend Weight shift
- Half Moon weight shifts,
Standing poses can be used to strengthen your feet and improve foot control.
While foot exercises can be done while sitting, standing foot exercises allow you to use your feet against the weight of your body.
When lifting part of the foot as in the standing poses below, notice how the part of your foot that isn't lifted feels.
Two basic exercises you can practice are lifting your heels and lifting your forefeet.
- Forward bend with heel/forefoot lift
- Half moon with heel/forefoot lift.
Change isn't a bad thing. The idea of learning to feel your body and control it is so that you can create desired changes while preventing undesired changes.
Work at keeping your pelvis and ribcage still while lifting your hands and then touching them back to the floor in the poses below.
Repeat the hand lifts a few times in each pose.
- Half Moon
- Triangle Pose
- Side Angle
If you've got tight or inflexible hamstrings, standing poses can be used to both stretch them and strengthen them.
With standing hamstring stretches you can use your arms to support the weight of your upper body so that your hamstrings can relax.
So that you can feel your hamstrings activate, try lifting your hands without allowing your body to move.
Then after you put your hands down, notice your hamstrings relax and as they relax you can try sinking your upper body by allowing your elbows to bend.
- Standing Forward bend,
- Front Triangle,
Standing poses can also be used to practice unweighted shoulder awareness and shoulder control.
- Mountain, (depress and elevate shoulders)
- Balancing On One Foot (protract and retract shoulder blades)
- Pyramid Pose (retract)
- Warrior 1 (elevate shoulders with arms lifted)
- Warrior 2 (retract and protract shoulder blades)
- Wide Leg Forward Bend (retract shoulder blades)
You can also use standing poses to practice understanding balance
- Quad Stretch
- Dancing Bow
- Dancing Bow Variation
You can use standing poses for full body twisting and side bending.
The standing twist and standing spinal side bend, below, work on both the spine and the hips!
- Standing twist (spine and hips)
- Lunging (side angle) twist,
- Standing spinal side bend (spine and hips)
- Spinal Side Bend with Arm Reach
But you can also use them for spinal front bends and spinal back bends (which also can affect the hips. Speaking of which...)
One other use for standing poses that I'll mention here, particularly if you can stabilize your hips, is that they can be used to reactivate your hips after deep hip stretches. If your hips feel loose or "fragile" after lots of deep stretching, try reactivating them with half moon, triangle twist or even a sumo squat.
In all of these standing yoga poses, don't just rely on the shape of the pose to stabilize your hips. Consciously activate your hip muscles to work at stabilizing your hip joints.
- Triangle twist
- Sumo Squat
To keep your hip joints lubricated and longer lasting, it can help to learn how to adjust your hips when doing standing yoga poses.
Read more about Basic Hip Adjustments for Standing Yoga Poses.
- Balancing on One Foot While Bent Forwards (11 basic balance poses)
- Balancing on your Forefeet (11 basic balance poses)
- Balancing On Your Heels (11 basic balance poses)
- Standing forward bend hand lift (11 basic balance poses)
- Hip Adjustments for Standing Yoga Poses: Adjusting hip stability for proprioception and lubrication
- Spinal Back Bending Exercises: Anchoring your spinal erectors and using them
- Standing Yoga Poses: A sequence of lateral and longitudinal standing poses suitable for beginners
- Balancing in Half Moon Pose: Weight Shifting and Creating Stability for Better Balance