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Consolidate Your Foundations with Standing Poses

Get a deeper understanding of some of the major standing poses.



In this sequence for lower-level students, we will be focussing on consolidating our foundations by going through some of the major standing poses.

It is a good idea to have some support at this stage: some blocks, a couple of blankets or towels, and a chair for the inversions at the end.

At this point, it’s advisable to work on getting aligned in our poses and on learning to breathe in a way that helps us relax even when doing the more strenuous poses. So, we’ll be going step by step through most of the basic poses — Trikonasana, Parsvottanasana, Adho Mukha Svanasana — and trying to see what actions go into each pose and how we can work on improving our understanding of them.

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Supta Swastikasana
Simple Cross Legs Lying Back
Cross your legs and lie back over support or straight onto your mat.
Virasana Forward
Downward-Facing Hero Pose
Join your feet together under your buttocks and keep your knees far enough apart for your ribs to fit in between your legs as you fold forward. You can rest your forehead on the floor or on a block.
Urdhva Baddanguliyasana
Upward Salute with Interlocked Fingers
Stretch your arms in front of you and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms inside out and lift your arms up overhead, making sure to keep your shoulders open. Change the interlock of your fingers and repeat.
Paschima Namaskar
Reverse Prayer Pose
Stand in Tadasana and spread your arms outward. Then bring your hands behind your back, join your palms together, and walk them up to capacity. If you lack wrist mobility, you can also simply grab hold of your elbows.
Adho Mukha Svanasana
Downward-Facing Dog Pose
Press evenly into your hands and feet. The main aim is to elongate the back of your body and lift your hips up as high off the ground as possible without losing the stable foundation created by your hands and feet. If you lack the hamstring flexibility, bend your knees a little.
Utthita Trikonasana
Extended Triangle Pose
Keep the toes and kneecap of your left leg pointed forward and, keeping your spine straight and long, stretch over your leg. Place your left hand on your ankle or on a block next to your foot. Look up towards your extended right arm.
Utthita Parsvakonasana
Extended Side Angle Pose
Bend your front leg and place your hand by of your foot as you stretch your other arm up and over your head. Pull your waist away from the floor, keep your back straight. Place a block under your hand if necessary.
Virabhadrasana I
Warrior I Pose
Angle your back foot outward slightly and straighten your back leg. Lift from your navel up, bring your arms up, and lengthen through the crown of your head. Make sure your front knee and toes are aligned and pointing straight forward.
Virabhadrasana II
Warrior II Pose
Angle your back foot out slightly and straighten out the leg. Bend your front knee into a lunge, pointing it forward so that it's aligned with your hips, shin, and toes. Stretch your arms out in a parallel line. Lengthen through the crown of your head.
Parivritta Trikonasana
Revolved Triangle Pose
Start off with your legs spread out as for Triangle Pose. Then, take your left hand to your right foot and twist.
Pyramid Pose
Place your feet one leg-length apart, your back foot angled out slightly. Keep your legs straight as you start to fold over your front leg, maintaining a concave spine for as far into the bend as possible.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Head Down)
Wide-Legged Forward Bend
Plant your feet as wide apart as you can. Place your hands on the floor and lengthen forward through your spine. Once you have achieved the concave spine, start to walk your hands backward to capacity, aiming to lengthen and release your spine as evenly as possible.
Parvatasana in Virasana
Mountain Pose in Hero Pose
Sit in Virasana, stretch your arms out in front of you, and interlock your fingers. Turn your palms outward and, keeping your shoulders down and ribs in neutral, extend your arms upward.
Baddha Konasana
Bound Angle Pose
Bring your feet as close as possible to your pelvis and join them together. Straighten your back and let gravity pull your knees down toward the floor. If necessary, use a strap to hold your feet in place.
Seated Forward Bend
Make sure the backs of your legs are pressed firmly to the ground as you bend over to reach your feet. Release the spine. Use a belt if necessary.
Supported Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supported Bridge Pose
Lie down over support placed under the whole of your body from the thoracic spine down to your knees. The shoulders swoop down to touch the floor. Spread your arms outward or slightly at your side. Activate your feet and press them into the wall.
Halasana (Arms Extended)
Half Plough Pose
Activate your shoulders as you lift your hips up overhead and place your feet on chair support behind your head.
Activate your arms and shoulders as you lift your body up perpendicular to the floor. Use blankets or bolsters to support your shoulders. Make sure the back of your neck stays relaxed and maintains its natural curve.
Adho Mukha Sukhasana Simple Cross Legs Forward
Simple Cross Legs Forward
Sit with your legs crossed. Keep your sit-bones pointing downward as you fold forward over your legs to capacity, lengthening your spine.
Corpse Pose
Lie down on the floor. Spread your arms and legs slightly at your side. Relax and concentrate on your breath.