Standing Poses

Standing yoga poses are beneficial for strengthening and stretching all group muscles in the pelvis and legs. They also offer an opportunity to feel grounded and stable.

Mountain Pose

This pose improves your posture, strengthens your legs and glutes, and awakens your feet.

Stand with feet firmly planted on the mat
Feet are hip width apart
Quads engaged
Palms face forward
Shoulders draw together behind you
Gaze is forward

Modification (for low back): Place a block in between your legs, above your knees.

Chair Pose

Chair pose strengthens the thighs, ankles, glutes, hips and back. It stretches the Achilles tendons and shins, and is known to be therapeutic for flat feet.

Big toes touch and bend into your knees
Lower your tailbone and slide your weight into your heels
Squeeze your legs towards one another
Keep knees together and in line
Reach your arms to the ceiling and spin pinky fingers slightly in
Engage core, thighs & glutes
Gaze forward

Modifications (for tight shoulders & hips): Press your palms together at your chest & step feet and knees hip width apart. For low back relief, place block in between your legs, above your knees.

Chair Pose Twist

Chair pose twist builds strength and heat in the lower body. The twist encourages a stretch through the core and the shoulders while energetically detoxing the body.

Big toes touch and bend into your knees
Lower your tailbone and slide your weight into your heels
Squeeze your legs towards one another
Keep knees together and in line
Press palms together at your chest, fingers spread apart
Twist towards one side, with bottom elbow connecting with opposite thigh
Spin fingers & thumbs in towards chests
Elbows & shoulders stack
Stay low in your legs and sit back (like you’re sitting in a chair!)
Soft gaze over shoulder

Wide Legged Forward Fold

This pose stretches the hamstrings, calves, spine, pelvis and groin. It also massages and stimulates the kidneys, which helps improve their ability to remove toxins from the body.

Wide stance along length of mat, with toes turning in and heels spinning out
Hips open to the long side of the mat
Quads are engaged and lifted
Press into the outer edges of your feet into the mat
Hands on the mat under your shoulders or on blocks for support
Shoulder blades draw together to elongate the spine
If comfortable, bend elbows and walk hands back slightly or option to spin fingers and walk hands back to opposite edge of mat
Gaze straight down or behind you

Pyramid Pose

Pyramid pose is particularly helpful in simultaneously stretching the hamstrings and shoulders. Also stretch the spine, chest and hips.

Feet hip width apart and back foot steps half-way down mat, both feet flat
Hips as square as you can to the front of the mat
Equal weight in both feet
Long through the spine
Fold over front leg
Hands to the floor or blocks framing out the front foot
Back heel grounds down
Long through the neck
Hips are squared forward, legs active

Modification: Place both hands on a block at top of the mat.

Standing Forward Fold

This stretch activates the muscles along the back of your body including your hip muscles, hamstrings and lower back. These same muscles often feel tight and sore after several hours spent sitting at a desk.

Feet are hip width apart
Legs straight, knees are not locked
Knee caps are lifted to engage quads
Bend at knees, and fold upper body forward
Head and neck relax towards the ground
Hips are lifting towards the ceiling
Hands or fingertips on mat

Modification: Place your hands on a block at top of mat for support or tight hamstrings.

Halfway Lift

This pose is often a stop in the journey of the flow but it allows the shoulders, chest and hamstrings to engage, and allows lengthening of the spine.

Feet hip width apart
Legs straight, knees soft (not locked)
Knee caps lift to engage quads
Hands on shins or quads, press hands into legs
Lengthen out of the spine, shoulder blades draw towards one another
Gaze is slightly forward

Standing (Sway) Half Moon

This is a grounding pose that finds extension throughout the neck and torso. Also allows for stretching the side body at the ribs and hips, which can allow for more meaningful breath work.

Stand with feet firmly planted on the mat, hip width apart
Quads engaged
Arms reach up high, palms pressed together or steeple fingers (fingers interlaced with first fingers pointing straight up)
Navel pulls in towards spine
Crown of head lifts towards the ceiling
Neck is long
Begin to sway upper body to one side of the mat, pressing firmly through opposite foot
Stretch and open through opposite side of sway
Gaze is forward or towards upper arm