Standing Yoga Poses – The Best 10 for Beginners

Extended Side Angle Pose

Standing Yoga Poses have a very special and specific place in the science of Yoga Poses.

If you are a beginner wondering where to start with, in the myriad choices of Yoga Asanas, Standing Yoga Poses are your best bet.

They give you a more open space to explore the body, build strength, and build muscles for flexibility.

Most of Standing Yoga Poses are great hip openers too, which is a very important aspect to have when you advance in the practice of Yoga Poses.

So here is a list of 10 Standing Yoga Poses that are the best to start with for beginners.

They are great for building body-awareness and balance apart from the above-mentioned benefits.

Standing Yoga Poses also ground you, so you can evolve into your practice with confidence and commitment.

Note: Pregnant women, Individuals with unrecovered injuries and surgeries must consult their Doctors and should only be practicing under the personal guidance of a Yoga Therapist. Please follow the instructions and be aware of the contra-indications at all times.

TADASANA

Mountain Pose

Mountain Pose

Images courtesy -Yanalya, Freepik

Contra-indications – Vertigo, Migraine

Starting Position – Feet together, hands by the side of the body, palms inward

Getting into the posture

  • Inhale and Roll the shoulders back, expanding the chest
  • Straighten the neck, chin parallel to ground
  • Tuck in the tail bone of the spine and engage the Belly Button
  • Gaze in front

Make Sure

  • Glutes are engaged
  • Weight equally distributed between feet
  • Thighs engaged and knee caps drawn up

Deepen the Pose – breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications – adjust the stance to stand comfortably if you have knock knees or bow-legs

Coming out of the Posture – exhale and relax

Follow-up Pose – Stand with feet slightly apart

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

ARDH KATI CHAKRASANA

Half-Waist Wheel Pose

Half Waist Wheel poseContra-indications – Chronic Spinal Disorder, Neck issues, Hernia, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Feet together, hands by the side of the body, palms inward

Getting into the posture

  • Inhale and raise the left arm up
  • Exhale and push the hips towards left and bend towards the right
  • Gaze on the palm or look up

Make Sure

  • To extend the hip first to have a better bend
  • Weight equally distributed between feet
  • Hips facing forward

Deepen the Pose

  • Breathe deeply in the pose and with each exhalation, try to bend deeper
  • If you can maintain the balance, close the eyes
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications – Can keep the feet slightly apart in the beginning for easy mobility

Coming out of the Posture – Inhale and come up, drop the hand down and relax

Follow-up Pose – Repeat on the other side

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

UTKATASANA

Awkward Chair Pose

Awkward Chair PoseImages courtesy -Yanalya, Freepik

Contra-indications – Lower Back pain, Knee-ankle-heel issues, Spondylitis, Vertigo, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Tadasana

Getting into the posture

  • Inhale and raise both the arms up, palms facing each other
  • Exhale, bend the knees and sit back as if sitting on an imaginary chair
  • Gaze on the ground at a distance ensuring balance or up

Make Sure

  • Spine straight
  • Elbows straight and Chest lifted
  • Navel and glutes engaged

Deepen the Pose

  • Breathe deeply in the pose and try to go further down
  • If you can maintain the balance, close the eyes
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications – Feet slightly apart; adjust the stance as per lock or bow knees

Coming out of the Posture

  • Inhale and come up
  • Exhale, drop the hands and relax

Follow-up PoseShithil-Tadasana

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

PADAHASTHASANA

Hands to Feet Pose

Hand to Feet PoseImages courtesy -Yanalya, Freepik

Contra-indications – Slip Disc, Severe Spondylitis, High BP, Heart problems, Knee or Hip issues, Vertigo, Sciatica, Abdominal disorders, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Tadasana

Getting into the posture

  • Inhale and raise both the arms up, bend back slightly
  • Exhale, fold forward bending from the hips. Take a grip on feet where comfortable
    • Palms facing up under the sole of feet
    • Thumb and first two fingers around big toe
    • Full palm round grip on ankle
    • Palms flat on calf
  • Gaze down in front of feet or gaze back in-between the legs

Make Sure

  • Spine lengthened and not arched
  • Engage the thighs and draw knee caps up
  • Hips moving straight up

Deepen the Pose

  • Breathe deeply and with every exhalation draw closer to the body; first the stomach touches the thighs and in the end chin to knees
  • If you can maintain the balance, close the eyes
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications – Knees slightly bent; adjust stance for lock or bow knees, do not drop head completely in Spondylitis

Coming out of the Posture

  • Bend knees slightly, Inhale and come up
  • Exhale, drop the hands and relax

Follow-up Pose – Slight back-bend with feet apart, hold for few seconds

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

UTTHITA TRIKONASANA

Extended Triangle Pose

Extended Triangle PoseImages courtesy -Yanalya, Freepik

Contra-indications – Hip or Knee issues, Spondylitis, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Feet apart medium stance (approx. 3 feet, varies as per individual’s height), right toe completely pointing towards right, left toe turned slightly in, hands stretched sideways, palms facing down

Getting into the posture

  • Engage the thighs, draw the knee caps up
  • While exhaling, extend completely from the waist towards right and bend down, placing the palm on the right leg, within comfortable reach.
  • Extend the left arm up, in a 90-degree angle
  • Gaze towards the thumb of the left hand

Make Sure

  • Heel of the right foot in line with arch of the left foot
  • Weight equally distributed between feet
  • Hips facing forward
  • Firm round grip wherever you reach (ideally shin, ankle or big toe)

Deepen the Pose

  • Use the grip to draw yourself away from the ground reaching for the sky opening chest and shoulders further
  • If you can maintain the balance, close the eyes
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications – Right Knee slightly bent for people with knee issues or hyper-extended knees

Coming out of the Posture

  • Bend knees slightly
  • Inhale and come up while bringing the hands parallel to the ground and relax

Follow-up Pose – Repeat on the other side

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

ADHOMUKHA-SVANASANA

Downward Dog Pose

Downward Dog PoseContra-indications – Wrist conditions, Uncontrolled High BP, Heart Disorders, Ear Infection, Vertigo, Retinal Detachment, Cranial Tumors, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Lying down on stomach with forehead on the mat, palms facing down by the side of the body below the rib cage, feet apart hip distance

Getting into the posture

  • Inhale, slide the body forward and up, belly button above the ground, toes relaxed
  • Entire body-weight is balancing between palms and toes
  • Exhale, push the hips up and bring the body in an inverted V position
  • Gaze towards the navel

Make Sure

  • Feet are hip width apart
  • Spine is straight and lengthened
  • Palms are open and flat making a firm grip on the ground

Deepen the Pose

  • Keep pushing the hips up and palms down and try to touch the heels on the mat, without compromising the length of the spine
  • If you can maintain the balance, close the eyes
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications – Bend the knees if the spine is arching

Coming out of the Posture – Exhale and slowly bring the knees down on the ground and sit back

Follow-up PoseShashankasana

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

VIRBHADRASANA I

Warrior Pose I

Warrior 1 PoseContra-indications – Knee and ankle issues, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Adhomukha Svanasana

Getting into the posture

  • Inhale and bring the right foot forward between hands
  • Exhale and stand up with straightening the left leg and keeping the right leg bent
  • Inhale, bring both arms over and above the head into Namaskar Mudra
  • Gaze up in-between the thumbs

Make Sure

  • Right toe facing forward, left toe turned in 45 degrees
  • Right thigh parallel to the ground, right knee and ankle in one line
  • Belly button engaged and shoulder blades rolled back

Deepen the Pose

  • If you can maintain the balance, close the eyes
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications

  • Do not raise hands up in case of uncontrolled high BP
  • Keep hands on the waist if shoulders stiff
  • Raise right thigh up

Coming out of the Posture – Exhale, take the right leg back and go down into Adhomukha Svanasana

Follow-up Pose – Repeat on the other side

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

VIRBHADRASANA 2

Warrior Pose 2

Warrior 2 PoseContra-indications – Knee-ankle-hip issues, Diarrhea, uncontrolled high BP, Palpitations, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Feet apart wide stance (approx. 4 feet, varies as per individual’s height), right toe completely pointing towards right, left toe facing forward, hands stretched sideways, palms facing down

Getting into the posture

  • Tuck the tail bone, engage the belly button
  • Exhale, bend the right knee, right thigh parallel to the ground
  • Turn the neck towards right and gaze at the tip of the right middle finger

Make Sure

  • Hips facing forward at all time
  • Heel of the right foot and arch of the left foot are in one line
  • Weight equally distributed between the feet

Deepen the Pose

  • Imagine both the hands are pulling in opposite direction keeping the pose active
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications

  • Keep the neck neutral in case of balancing issues or neck issues
  • Hands in Namaskar Mudra in front of the chest in case of shoulder issues

Coming out of the Posture – Exhale and slowly come out of the pose, drop the hands, and relax

Follow-up Pose – Repeat on the other side

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

UTTHITA PARSVKONASANA

Extended Side-Angle Pose

Extended Side Angle PoseImages courtesy -Yanalya, Freepik

Contra-indications – Knee-ankle-hip-shoulder-neck issues, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Feet apart wide stance (approx. 4 feet, varies as per individual’s height), right toe completely pointing towards right, left toe facing forward, hands stretched sideways, palms facing down

Getting into the posture

  • Exhale, bend the right knee, right thigh parallel to the ground; bringing the right palm on the floor next to the outer side of the right foot
  • Inhale, raise the left arm up, bringing it close to the left ear so the whole left side of the body is in one line
  • Gaze upward on the palm

Make Sure

  • Hips facing forward at all time
  • Heel of the right foot and arch of the left foot are in one line
  • Right knee and ankle in one line with shoulder to knee grip
  • Left elbow straight and arm active

Deepen the Pose

  • Use the palm on the ground to move away from gravity, opening the rib cage
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications

  • Shorter Stance
  • Arm extended 90 degrees instead of all the way to the ear
  • Forearm on the thigh instead of palm down
  • Finger-tips on the ground instead of the entire palm
  • Palm on the inside of the foot instead of outside
  • Neck in neutral position instead of looking up

Coming out of the Posture – Exhale and slowly come out of the pose, drop the hands, and relax

Follow-up Pose – Repeat on the other side

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

VRIKSHASANA

Tree Pose

Tree PoseContra-indications – Knee-ankle-hip issues, Vertigo, any kind of shooting pain while in the posture – come out slowly.

Starting Position – Tadasana

Getting into the posture

  • Plant the right foot firmly on ground by opening the toes and forming a firm grip
  • Choose a point of focus in front, to maintain balance through the Asana
  • Bend the left knee, hold the left ankle with the left hand and place the left foot completely on the right thigh. Heel as close to the perineum as possible, toes facing down.
  • Inhale and raise both arms over and above the head into Namaskar Mudra

Make Sure

  • The foot is firmly pressing on the thigh
  • Knee pointing sideways
  • Hips facing forward and not tilting sideways
  • Belly button is engaged
  • Shoulders away from the ears

Deepen the Pose

  • Keep lengthening the spine with an upward movement of the hands
  • Breathe deeply with complete awareness of the breath

Modifications

  • Make an artificial arch in the foundation foot in case of flat feet
  • Keep holding on to the bent foot in case unable to maintain balance at first, another hand on waist
  • Bend knee slightly in case of hyper-extended knee
  • Keep hands in Namaskar Mudra on the chest in case of high BP and heart problems

Coming out of the Posture – Exhale and slowly come out of the pose, drop the hands, and relax

Follow-up Pose – Repeat on the other side

Duration – Minimum of 5 breaths to 1 minute

Feel the Difference

This is not just a list but a perfect sequence for Standing Yoga Poses for Beginners.

You will feel a huge difference in the strength, flexibility, and energy of your body within 1 to 3 months of practicing them.

Not just physically, but the practice of Yoga shall bring a holistic sense of wellness in your life.

Pick a suitable time for yourself to practice this Hatha Beginner Yoga Sequence. Start with some warm-up exercises and follow the Yoga sequence with Shavasana.

Morning hours 6-10 are the best to practice Yoga Asanas.

Ensure an empty stomach and a gentle smile on your face.

Namaste

2 thoughts on “Standing Yoga Poses – The Best 10 for Beginners”

    1. I am honored to hear that Purnima 🙂 Do feel free to share your Yoga experience on my FB or Twitter page or even in the comment boxes like here 🙂 You can also let me know any particular topics you shall be interested in hearing about. Keep practicing!

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