The standing series of postures or asanas has a stretching and strengthening effect on the back, shoulders and leg muscles. They are particularly useful for those who have stiffness or pain in the back. They improve muscular coordination, balance and posture.
Standing postures provide a lot of information on the principles of alignment, which are very essential in performing all the poses. One great example of a standing pose is the ‘Mountain Pose’ [Tadasana]. It is considered as the origin of all other Yoga poses. Generally speaking, standing postures are the foundation of many poses. These postures are usually held for shorter duration than other poses and tend to be more energetically uplifting and opening.
Many a times we stand, walk and do other activities in an upright position with a bad posture. This happens due to a general lack of awareness of alignment and equilibrium.
Balance is key in performing the standing asanas perfectly. For example in the Triangle, Warrior and other standing poses, the weight has to be evenly distributed between the front and back leg. This focus on balance and alignment improves our overall balance and flexibility. This improvement results in a better posture throughout the day and not just in a yoga class.
This series of postures are great for beginners to initiate their asana practice as they have some of the key foundation postures. So whether as a beginner you are learning to balance in Trikonasana, or as an advanced practitioner gliding into Natrajasana, this series has something for everyone.
Stillness characterizes the standing postures in Yoga. The idea of stillness is both of the mind and body. As one focuses onto a point in the asana, the mind becomes relaxed. This focus can be carried with you into your daily life.
Thus stand tall, be still as a tree, like in the tree posture Vrakshasana, and face everything that comes your way with poise and equilibrium!
We’ll come back next week with a bit on the practice and benefits of forward bending postures in Yoga.
Neelanjana Bharadwaj – Yoga Expert