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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Standing Yoga Poses for Strength and Flexibility

How can an exercise which requires you to spend most of your time sitting or lying down have any benefits? This is a very common question that is posed by those who are not very familiar with yoga. It’s true that the popular perception of yoga is that it mainly involves static postures that are performed while breathing o lying down; however, this is not always true.

The truth is that yoga involves many standing postures as well. These standing yoga poses help to promote strength and flexibility. In fact you’ll be surprised to know that many of the common standing exercises that are used to warm up the body prior to workouts have been derived from standing yoga poses.

Let us take a look at some of the common standing yoga poses and see how they can help us maintain our strength and flexibility.

Tada Asana

The Tada Asana or Mountain Pose is the most basic standing posture in yoga. It also forms the basis for the more advanced standing yoga poses. In addition to this, the Tada Asana also helps to improve your posture and corrects any imbalances that poor posture may have caused in your body.

Trikona Asana

The Trikona Asana or the Triangle Pose will be very familiar to those who have taken part in any form of exercise in school. It basically involves bending down and rotating your torso to touch your toe with the opposite hand. The only difference between the Trikona Asana and the exercise that is usually taught in gyms is that all yoga exercises are performed at a slow pace and with emphasis on breathing. This slow, deliberate movement not only minimizes the chances of injury, it also ensures that you’re not using inertia to “cheat” your way through the exercise.

The Trikona Asana helps to increase the circulation of blood throughout the body and gently stretches all the muscles. This is why it is such an excellent warm up exercise.

Vriksa Asana

The Vriksha Asana or Tree Pose is one of the most popular standing meditation poses. Since the pose involves standing on one foot, it can seem very difficult at first, but with a little practice, you can soon master this pose and enhance your sense of balance.

Other standing poses

Other popular standing yoga poses that can help to improve your strength and flexibility include the Vira Asana (Hero Pose), Parivritta Parshvakona Asana (Turned Side-Angle Pose), Nataraj Asana (King of Dance Pose), and Ek Pada Asana (One Legged Pose).