Adding yoga to your daily routine has a plethora of benefits, ranging from increased flexibility to improved mental health. Not only that, but it’s one of the most versatile forms of exercise out there since you can do it practically anywhere. And for those days when you’re short on time or space, any standing pose will do—you don’t even need a mat. Incorporating standing yoga poses into your daily routine is a great way to improve flexibility and strength and gain better balance and stability. These poses aren’t held for very long, but they can give you a lot of energy.
So, here are eight of the best standing yoga poses to improve full-body balance. Give them a try the next time you need a quick pick-me-up or want to add some variety to your yoga practice.
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Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
Though the Mountain pose is basic, it’s also vital for yogis of all levels. By centering yourself and truly feeling your feet connect with the mat, you create a stable balance to execute other poses better. Additionally, this position lengthens your spine while opening up your chest— promoting good posture habits overall.
- To start a mountain pose, begin by standing with your feet merged and arms down at your sides. Then, contract your abdominal muscles and raise your heels, so you’re balanced on only your toes. As you do this stretch, reach both of your arms overhead while keeping your shoulder blades low and away from your ears. Once fully extended, take a deep breath in before lowering your heels back to the mat as you exhale slowly.
Warrior III (Virabhadrasana III)
Practicing Warrior III will assist you in toning your legs, back, and core. As well as this, it provides an opportunity to improve focus and concentration while also promoting better balance by testing your alignment while bearing weight on one leg.
- To get into warrior III, start in mountain pose with your feet together. Then, take a big step back with your right leg, keeping your left heel down, and your right toes pointed. As you do this, lean forward from your hips, hinging at the waist. Reach your arms out for balance, and keep your gaze focused on a point in front of you. Keeping your core engaged, lift your left leg behind you until it’s in line with your back. Hold a few breaths, slowly lower your left leg back down and return to the mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
The chair pose might look easy, but it requires quite a bit of strength—especially in your legs and core. Nevertheless, this pose is excellent for toning your lower body and helps improve your balance and stability.
- Start standing with your feet and arms at your sides to get into the chair pose. As you inhale, raise your arms overhead, bend your knees, and sink down into a low squat. Keep your chest and your back straight as you sink down as low as possible. Hold a few breaths, then slowly stand back up and lower your arms to your sides.
Half Camel Pose (Ardha Ustrasana)
The half camel pose is a beneficial way to stretch your back and open up your chest and shoulders. Additionally, this pose helps improve balance as it requires you to keep aligned while standing on one leg.
- To get into the half camel pose, start in mountain pose with your feet and arms at your sides. Then, take hold of your right ankle with your right hand and lift your right leg behind you. As you do this, arch your back and begin to lean back. Next, reach behind your left hand and take hold of your right ankle. Hold a few breaths, then slowly release and return to mountain pose. Repeat on the other side.
Crescent Lunge (Anjaneyasana)
The crescent lunge is an excellent way to open up your hips and stretch out your thighs. This pose also helps improve balance by asking you to keep your body aligned while standing on one leg.
- To do the crescent lunge, start in mountain pose with your feet touching and your arms down. Take a large step forward diagonally with your right leg and sink into a lunge until both of knees are at a 90-degree angle. As you lower, lift both of your arms up above you. Hold this position for several breaths then press through your right foot to go back into mountain pose before repeating on the left side.
Three-Legged Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
Downward-facing dog is a classic yoga pose that offers many benefits, including improved balance. This pose is also great for strengthening your arms, shoulders, and legs while lengthening your spine.
- To do a downward-facing dog, start by getting into a tabletop position on your hands and knees. Then, put your toes under and lift your hips up and back until your body makes an upside-down “V” shape. Keep your arms and legs straight as you do this, and press down into your hands to help support yourself. Hold it for a few breaths before coming back down to the tabletop position.
Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I)
Warrior I is another excellent pose for strengthening your legs, back, and core while improving your balance. This pose will also help improve your focus and concentration.
- To start the Warrior I pose, begin by standing in a mountain pose with your feet close together and arms resting at your sides. Take a large step forward with your right foot, then lower down into a lunge as you bend your right knee. Arching both of your arms overhead, make sure to keep lunging forward with your left leg straight so that your right knee doesn’t go over the ankle. Hold this position for some deep breaths before pressing off the right foot and returning to the mountain pose. Return to the opposite side by following these steps again, switching starting leg from right to left.
Peaceful Warrior (Viparita Virabhadrasana)
The peaceful warrior pose is an excellent way to cultivate strength in your lower body, back, and core. You will also see improvements in your balance, focus, and concentration.
- In order to achieve the peaceful warrior pose, begin by assuming a mountain pose with your feet close together and arms resting at your sides. Next, take a large step forward with your right leg while bending your right knee; as you do this, raise both of your arms overhead. It is important that you keep your left leg straight as you lunge forward into this pose; also, make sure your right knee doesn’t extend past your right ankle. Once you are in the lunge position, turn your head and gaze up at your left hand. Hold this pose for several breaths before returning to the mountain pose.
These are just a few standing yoga poses that can help improve your balance. As you can see, many of these poses offer other benefits, like increased strength, flexibility, and concentration. So, give one of these poses a try next time you’re looking for a way to improve your balance!