Standing Yoga Poses: How-to, Tips, Benefits, Images, Videos
These energetic poses provide a straight line to shaping our best body. They are also great for strength, balance, and focus.

Downward Dog
- Probably the first pose you'll see in class, it opens up the backs of your legs and upper spine. More on Downward Dog Pose >>

Downward Dog Split -
Keep your standing leg strong, and upper chest sinking toward the ground. More on Downward Dog Split >>

Low Lunge
- Set your feet up so you’re not on a "tightrope" – so at least hip-width from side to side. More on Low Lunge Pose >>

Lizard - From a low lunge, lower your back knee to the ground then bring your forearms to the ground just inside your front foot. More on Lizard Pose >>

Triangle - From a Warrior II, straighten your front leg, and follow your front hand forward then down to your shin or the floor. More on Triangle Pose >>

Extended Side Angle Pose - From a low lunge, roll your back heel to the ground, bring your fingers to the ground inside your front heel... More on Extended Side Angle Pose >>

High Lunge
- For easier balance, position your feet at least as wide as your hips, and reach out strongly through your back leg and heel. More on High Lunge Pose >>

Warrior I - This pose is a great upper thigh opener and helps with patience. More on Warrior I Pose >>

Warrior II
- Great for leg strength, it's important to keep your body vertical over your hips... More on Warrior II Pose >>

Reverse Warrior
- From a Warrior II, lean back over your back leg keeping your body directly open to the side. More on Reverse Warrior Pose >>

Warrior III - From a high lunge, reach your arms straight forward, shift your weight forward... More on Warrior III Pose >>

Half Moon
- Opens hips, builds focus. Balance by stacking your weight vertical from hip to knee to standing heel... More on Half Moon Pose >>

Revolved Half Moon
- Tones the backs of your thighs. Good for balance and circulation. More on Revolved Half Moon Pose >>

Bound Half Moon
- A great pose to help your balance, focus, and circulation. For better balance, keep your standing leg... More on Bound Half Moon Pose >>

Standing Split - From standing, shift your weight to one foot, bring your fingers to the ground and lift your other leg up behind you. More on Standing Split >>

Tree - Balance by keeping an active standing leg, and stacking your skeleton vertical from heel to knee to hip... More on Tree Pose >>

- Balance is easier if you squeeze the back of your top thigh into the top of your standing thigh...  More on Eagle Pose >>

Chair - Stand with your feet together, and sink your hips as your reach your arms up alongside your ears. More on Chair Pose >>

Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe - While balancing on one leg, hold the big toe of your lifted foot, open your hip, and gradually extend your leg out to the side. More on Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe-Pose >>

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To learn more about yoga, check out our video course The Complete Guide To Yoga.
About the Author

Mike is a guide and resident healer at Strala Yoga in New York. Named “Best Mover” by MindBodyGreen and one of Shape Magazine’s Hottest Trainers, he’s practiced Eastern movement and healing techniques for more than three decades, including tai chi, qigong, and shiatsu.

In his younger years, Mike challenged centuries of reasonable and well-tested martial traditions in hundreds of competitions, by applying unruly imagination to a world where rules were unbreakable. As he got older, he happily become more interested in supporting bodies than disrupting them, and continued on to medical applications of the mind-body connection in university.

Mike studied mind-body medicine at Harvard, and alternative medicine and psychology at Oxford. After running into walls with standard medical practice in the U.S. and England, Mike left his healthcare roots. He worked at a steel mill for a while, joined a web company, and then founded a few more. He now serves on the board of Odyl, which helps people discover books on Facebook.

As Strala's co-founder, Mike has found his way back to health care done right: helping people let go of stress in their bodies and minds, become their own best caregivers, and live happy capable lives. Mike is a mountaineer, runner, cyclist, skier, and snowboarder. Check out Michael's MBG Video Course, The Complete Guide To Yoga.