Standing poses are the most fundamental class of postures. Tadasana or Samasthiti is not only the quintessential standing pose, but it also serves as the master pose from which all other poses originate. Understanding the principles of alignment for Tadasana provides the student with the knowledge to perform all asanas.
Through standing poses, students can learn the Universal Principles of Alignment more easily than in the other classes of poses, because the body has the capacity for the greatest range of motion in these poses. Since the hips and the shoulders move so much in these poses (relatively speaking), students can gain body awareness more easily. Therefore, standing poses should be an essential part of beginner classes.
Standing poses provide many physical, physiological, and psychological benefits. Through learning to root and ground the legs in standing poses, one gains poise and balance. Furthermore, increased power, strength, and stability in the legs, hips, and back through standing poses engenders greater confidence and courage. The nervous system feels better insulated, so these poses create a settled feeling. Standing poses also help to foster vigor and mental alertness.
Stretching and toning the muscles of the legs with standing poses increase general circulation of the legs increased, thereby reducing the work of the heart at rest. Because of the strenuous nature of standing poses, the heart and lungs are more strongly activated, which helps to detoxify the blood. In addition, the pelvic floor is both widened and toned, which increases the flow ofApana Uayu. This in turn helps digestive disorders and constipation.
Specific Points for Standing Poses
Proper Stance Width
In general, the wider the stance between the feet in a standing pose, the greater the potential for spinal extension and diminished stability. So, if you feel unstable or unbalanced in a particular standing pose, shorten your stance. Once you develop strength and stability in the standing poses, you can widen your stance.