6 Best Standing Yoga Poses for Beginners Along with Each Pose’s Benefits

Develop your physical & mental strength and balance with these poses


When you begin practicing yoga, you may notice that there is a wide variety of postures to explore and learn.

Standing yoga postures are only one of many categories of yoga postures, and they can sometimes be challenging for beginners.

Standing yoga postures for beginners are a great way to develop not only physical steadiness, strength, and balance but also to develop the strength and equilibrium to explore more complex and challenging shapes.

These poses encourage new practitioners to connect with their breath, focus on the present moment, and develop a heightened awareness of their body and mind.

With standing yoga poses for beginners, you can also find a sense of inner calm and balance.

Standing yoga poses for beginners provide a gateway to cultivating not just physical strength but also a deeper understanding of the mind-body connection.

In this article we will discuss:

two people doing standing yoga poses on a beach with the moon above them

Your foundation matters: understanding the basics

Before we explore some of these standing yoga poses for beginners and how to practice them, let’s look at some of the basics of this holistic practice.

Think of it as laying the foundation for a house. If the foundation is strong, the whole structure is sturdy.

Similarly, in yoga, when you stand with the right alignment and balance, you’re building a strong foundation for your practice.

It’s not just about making shapes with your body; it’s also about how you breathe, focus your mind, and connect with yourself.

So, as we dive into the world of standing yoga poses for beginners, keep in mind that these basics aren’t just the starting point; they’re the heart of your yoga practice.

Here are some basics:

  • Breath Awareness: Focus on your breath. Inhale and exhale mindfully, letting your breath guide your movements and create a sense of calm.
  • Find your unique alignment: Pay attention to the alignment of your body in each pose. Proper alignment prevents strain, enhances effectiveness, and reduces the risk of injury.
  • Build self-awareness and connect to presence: Be present in each moment of your practice. Allow your mind to be fully engaged in the poses, letting go of distractions and cultivating mindfulness.
  • Explore harmony and balance: Find balance both physically and mentally. Consider the concepts of sukha and shtira connecting to the energies of effort and ease in your practice and your life.
  • Listen to yourself and adapt the practice: Respect your body and what you need at every moment. Yoga is a journey, and it’s okay to use props, modify, and take breaks.
  • Building a sustainable habit: Establish a practice that you can sustain and that is adaptable to your lifestyle. Regularity is key to reaping the benefits of these practices, and committing to something that you can actually do will be of tremendous help when getting started.
illustrations of different yoga poses around a sun against a blue background

Yoga Pose Categories

Yoga poses, also known as “asanas,” can be categorized into various groups based on their characteristics and the benefits they offer.

Here are some common categories of yoga poses:

  • Seated Poses
  • Standing Poses
  • Prone Poses
  • Supine Poses
  • Balancing Poses
  • Twisting Poses
  • Backbends
  • Forward Bends
  • Inversions

Keep in mind that most postures belong to more than one category!

These categories provide a framework for organizing and understanding the diverse range of yoga poses.

A well-rounded yoga practice often includes a variety of poses from different categories to address various aspects of physical and mental well-being.

6 best standing yoga Poses for beginners

Let’s explore the 6 essential standing yoga poses, delving into the unique advantages each brings to your yoga experience.

1# Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

annotated image of a woman doing yoga's mountain pose

Mountain pose is often defined as the foundation of all yoga postures.

This symmetrical standing yoga posture fosters a sense of stability, both physically and mentally, and can help you feel present and aligned.

The pose encourages proper alignment, helping beginners develop awareness of their posture.

Regular practice of this asana promotes a straighter spine and a more balanced stance.

Mountain Pose cultivates mindfulness, encouraging you to focus on the present moment and your breath, fostering a state of mental clarity.

2# Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

annotated image of a woman doing chair pose

This yoga posture, also known as the awkward pose is a part of the primary series of Ashtanga and is also included in many other styles of yoga.

Utkatasana is a dynamic pose that engages the core, glutes, thighs, and down to your feet. It builds strength in the lower body and tones the abdominal muscles.

The seated-like position in chair pose allows for the release of potential pent-up energy in your hips, promoting a sense of energetic flow throughout the lower body.

Despite it can be a challenging posture for many, Utkatasana encourages a grounded and stable foundation, helping beginners connect with their inner strength.

To modify this posture and make it more accessible, consider practicing it seated on the edge of a chair.

3# Forward Fold (Uttanasana):

annotated image of a woman doing yoga's standing forward bend pose

Uttanasana is one of the best standing yoga poses for beginners when you’re in need of a deep stretch for the hamstrings, releasing tension and promoting flexibility. It also allows for a gentle spinal release, relieving stress in the back.

The forward-bending nature of the pose has a calming effect on the nervous system, making it a beneficial posture for relaxation and stress relief.

As the head hangs below the heart, Uttanasana enhances blood circulation, promoting oxygen flow to the brain and a sense of rejuvenation.

Consider keeping your knees generously bent to avoid straining the hamstrings or the lower back too much.

4# Tree Pose (Vrksasana):

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing tree pose

Although it is often offered as a standing yoga pose for beginners, Tree Pose challenges balance, and it is not accessible for all.

With that being said, Vrksansana helps beginners develop stability in a single-leg stance. It also enhances concentration as practitioners focus on maintaining equilibrium.

The weight-bearing nature of Tree Pose strengthens the muscles around the ankles, improving stability and preventing potential injuries.

This pose fosters a deep mind-body connection, as it invites you to root down through one leg while reaching upward, rooting to rise, creating a sense of grounded extension.

5# Crescent Lunge (Astha Chandrasana)

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing crescent lunge pose

This is one of the best standing yoga poses for beginners, offering a blend of strength, flexibility, and balance.

As an asymmetrical yoga posture, crescent lunge actively engages the muscles of your legs, including the quadriceps and hamstrings as well as promoting strength in the feet.

This engagement strengthens the lower body and also promotes stability.

The act of finding stability in crescent lunge encourages concentration, contributing to an enhanced sense of mindfulness during your practice that can spill into your daily life.

If you want to make this pose more stable and accessible, bring your back knee to the floor, or consider using blocks under your hands.

6# Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

an annotated image of a woman wearing black yoga clothes doing triangle pose

The last of the basic standing yoga poses for beginners that we will explore in this article is Trikonasana.

This asana stretches and strengthens your legs, especially the inner thighs and hamstrings. It also provides a deep stretch for the sides of the torso, promoting expansion of the upper body.

By elongating both sides of the body, and reaching in all directions, triangle pose promotes a balanced flow of energy, fostering a sense of equilibrium and well-being.

Bonus tip: there is no need to take your bottom hand to the floor! Simply rest it on a block or your leg.

Other standing yoga poses for beginners to try

We’ve introduced you to 6 of the foundational standing yoga poses for beginners, there are many more that you can explore as you evolve in your practice and find the style that suits you best.

If you want to explore other standing yoga poses for beginners beyond the 5 basic ones we’ve already shared, consider trying some of these:

  • Upward salute pose (Urdhva Hastasana)
  • Standing side bend (Parsva Tadasana)
  • Eagle pose (Garudasana)
  • Warrior 2 pose (Virabhadrasana II)
  • Half-moon pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
  • Standing Splits Pose (Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana)
  • Dancer’s pose (Natarajasana)

Remember that you can bring a variety of props into your practice like blocks, blankets, bolsters, and straps, to explore variations of these standing yoga postures for beginners and all practitioners.

When using props, you tailor your practice to your unique needs, and you’ll be able to find more benefits when practicing yoga shapes.

To close

Exploring the different standing yoga poses for beginners introduced in this article, can be only the beginning.

Developing a good standing foundation through these physical postures is an invitation to embark on a journey toward developing better strength and balance as well as mental resilience.

Learning to practice these foundational standing poses in a way that feels good in your body and supports the intention for your practice, can help you develop a sustainable habit and eventually learn more physically demanding postures.

If you’d like to learn more about common yoga poses, beyond the standing yoga poses for beginners you’ve seen here, read this article next!

Photo of author
Laia is an Afro-Catalan accessible and inclusive yoga & meditation teacher. She has trained in hatha, vinyasa, trauma-informed yoga, yin yoga, and restorative yoga and holds E-RYT 500 and YACEP accreditations with the Yoga Alliance. Additionally, she is a freelance writer and translator, publishing in Catalan, English, and Spanish. As a former professional athlete who lives with a chronic illness, Laia has gained valuable insights into the benefits of self-care and the importance of pausing and slowing down. She is dedicated to sharing accessible and sustainable practices of yoga and meditation to help people create a more harmonious life. Being a black and chronically ill individual, her mission is to empower non-normative yoga teachers to find their unique voices and develop tools to make wellness practices accessible to the communities they serve, thereby taking up space and creating a more inclusive and diverse yoga industry. Furthermore, as a writer and creative, she is passionate about supporting other creatives and innovators. She fosters a genuine community dedicated to finding balance while staying productive and inspired. Laia has developed unique techniques that intertwine yoga and meditation with writing, journaling, and other accessible methods to help each other stay creative and mindful.

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