General Benefits of the Yoga Asanas – Standing Postures

Standing postures are good for grounding. They help you find steadiness in poses and in life.

Standing poses improve posture and the way a person carries him or herself. They help increase feelings of lightness, agility, power, and harmony. They help prevent fatigue and create feelings of vigor. Even the mind is made more agile and sharp. The good posture affects the mood and energy in a positive way. The expanded chest encourages better breathing habits. The balancing standing poses help create a sense of poise and balance.

Standing poses also tone and often strengthen the leg, feet, and ankle muscles. Many of them help tone the spine and nerves. These poses can help prevent deformities and keep the spinal elasticity. In the poses where the arms are raised overhead it helps relieve stiffness in the arms, shoulders, neck, and upper back. They also reduce body weight.

Finally, standing poses make it easier to do advanced forward bending poses and help beginners progress to more challenging poses.

Examples of standing poses include:

  • Tadasana/Mountain Pose
  • ViraBhadrasana I/Warrior I
  • ViraBhadrasana II/Warrior II
  • ViraBhadrasana II Variation/Reverse Warrior
  • Vrksasana/Tree Pose


Standing up, bring your feet together or slightly apart to come into tadasana. Feel the weight on all four corners of your feet. Press into those corners to lift your feet arches and your entire body. Tighten and lift the kneecaps and thighs. Allow the pelvis to lengthen down toward the floor. Draw the abdomen and all four corners of the ribcage up. Roll the shoulder up, around, and then down the back. Lengthen the neck and crown of the head up toward the sky while keeping the chin level. Roll the arms and palms open, fingers spread wide, toward the front of the room. Close your eyes. Notice your breath. And then start to breath more deeply. Hold the posture and take several breaths.

Keeping the eyes closed, visualize, imagine, or pretend red roots growing out of your feet and out of your tail bone going down through the floor, through all of the layers, and deep into the earth. Keep imagining it going deeper and deeper until you see it enter the core of the earth, really rooting down and giving you strength. Notice how that steadiness feels. Ideallly, you might feel some tingling and unusual sensations.

Next, visualize, imagine, or pretend a healing white or blue light coming down from the sky, filling you with lightness. Take some breaths just soaking this in.

Finally, imagine the two energies still flowing into you and merging inside your body. You are very steady and grounded (sthira), but also light and relaxed (sukha). Savor and observe for a few more breaths and then when you are ready softly blink open the eyes and go about your practise or daily activity. Try to recall this sense of groundedness each time you are in a standing posture.