Do have a keen interest in improving your balance and flexibility?
If so, yoga is a fantastic place to start. With time and practice, it’s proven to build core strength, improve coordination, increase flexibility and mobility, and optimize mental focus.
Luckily, there are several easy standing yoga poses to get you started. You don’t need to know how to do a handstand or a split to try them! You just need to show up as yourself, who you are right this moment—that’s it!
Put on your most comfortable attire, find a safe place, grab your mat, and consider some of the following standing yoga poses for beginners.
1. Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
This posture is a great way to begin.
It not only improves balance, but also strengthens the hip flexors and gluteus medius, stabilizes the pelvis, and allows you to center yourself before moving forward. It’s a wonderful foundational pose you can come to time and again.
- Stand with your feet hips-distance apart, planting toes into the ground
- Reach tall from the heels of the feet to the crown of the head, keeping the back of the neck long and chin down, gaze forward
- Roll your shoulders up and down the back, letting them hang away from the ears
- Allow the palms of the hands to be open and facing forward
- Engage your knees to make this posture even more active
- Spend at least three to five breaths here
2. Triangle Pose (Trikonasana)
Triangle pose is a great posture to try when you’re a little more warmed up.
It’s stabilizing, heart-opening, and touches on both balance and flexibility.
- From mountain pose, bring the right foot back a little more than hip’s distance, placing it at a 45º angle
- Keep the toes of the left foot facing forward
- Knees remain straight and facing the long edge of your mat—a gentle bend in the knees is okay!
- Keeping your spine long and your neck straight, open arms into a T-shape
- Slowly lower your upper body towards your left leg, allowing that arm to come down—touching your shin, ankle, block, or the ground
- Your right arm will rise up, keeping the T-shape, opening the heart
- If you feel comfortable in this position, begin to shift your gaze upwards to the right hand
- Spend three to five breaths on this side (or, as many as is comfortable!), then repeat on the other side
3. Tree Pose (Vrikshasana)
This posture is excellent for building your balance, but remember—trees sway in the wind!
For beginners, we recommend trying this pose near a wall, which is a wonderful modification until you feel more stable.
- Start in your mountain pose, with equal weight in both the feet
- Place your hands anywhere that’s comfortable—by your sides, on your hips, in a prayer hands position, or with one leaning against the wall
- With hips remaining square to the front of the mat, gently start to shift your weight into the left foot
- Slowly begin bringing the right foot into a kickstand position, with toes still on the ground and the heel rested on the inside ankle of the standing leg
- You can stop right there! Or, begin bringing the right foot up even farther, resting against the inside of the left one’s ankle, calf, or thigh—but not on the knee
- Take three to five breaths in this position, shake it off, then try again on the other side
4. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
This is one of those simple yoga standing poses that does a lot for flexibility.
It’s a wonderful way to stretch the entire backside of your body, from your feet, legs, back, and neck, all the way to the crown of the head.
- Beginning in mountain pose, inhale as you cartwheel your arms overhead, reaching tall and long, staying rooted in the heels
- As you exhale, slowly begin to bend forward, allowing the arms to follow
- Keep a slight bend in the knees to protect them as you keep your weight in the heels of the feet
- Allow your upper body to feel heavy, folding your chest over your thighs, keeping the back of the neck long
- Your arms can hang loosely, or you can grab opposite elbows, wrap your peace fingers around your big toes—wherever feels most comfortable
- If it feels okay for the neck, shake your head yes and no, up and down
- Breathe into the back of the body, relaxing into this posture as much as feels good
- Spend as much time here as feels comfortable
5. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
If you’re ready to try a beginner’s yoga pose that also builds strength, then chair pose is an excellent place to start.
- Start in your mountain pose with feet hips-distance apart (or slightly farther, which makes balancing a bit easier) and arms at your side
- On your next in-breath, lift your arms straight overhead, keeping the biceps in line with the ears, allowing the shoulders to stay down the back and away from the ears
- On your out-breath, begin to bend in the knees, keeping your thighs parallel with your knees
- Arms, neck, and spine should also be in line as you sink into this posture, forming a right angle with your chest and thighs
- Since this posture is strengthening and balancing, you can squeeze your knees and thighs together for extra stability
- Breathe into this pose for three to five breaths, gently releasing back into mountain pose when you’re ready
Have Fun Trying These Standing Yoga Poses for Beginners!
These different standing yoga poses are a fantastic way to improve your balance and flexibility, all while building strength throughout the body—and mind.
Remember to start slow and work your way up, taking your time and listening to the cues from your body. As you expand your comfort zone, you may be able to build upon these foundational standing yoga poses for beginners, challenging yourself to try more difficult variations. And if not, that’s okay, too!
All that matters is that you feel good.
Still, if you’d like some assistance, a one-on-one private yoga class with an instructor is a wonderful option. At Yoga Beyond the Studio, we offer private online classes that allow you to practice from the comfort of home.
Click here to learn about how one of our many talented teachers can help you study any of the above poses—and much more!