Chapter 1: standing poses

In the physical practice, which contributes to the spiritual practice, asanas, or postures, are classified in various categories, which all bring benefits to body and mind.

Standing poses

Standing poses are in a way the frame of the postural architecture. They refine and tone up legs, correct feet and ankles, develop strength and mobility of the body. They allow the follower to become aware of the principles of alignment, of their foundations, their balance and their body.

During standing poses, a work of awareness, for example on the opening of the lower back, can be done, showing how, by modifying some principles of alignment, we can open or close the space of lumbar area (lower spine).

On a physiological level, by toning up the muscles of legs, we increase the general circulation in the lower part of the body, what reduces the work of the heart during resting period. During standing poses, heart and lungs, besides muscles of legs, are strongly stimulated, what has an effect of blood detoxification.

On a psychic level, this category of postures engenders a big feeling of self-confidence, courage, helps to raise a physical vigour as well as a mental alert. The nervous system is also stimulated, what gives a profound feeling of stability.

For beginners, these poses have a reassuring power, by reducing feeling of vulnerability and uncertainty. Easier than the other categories of postures, they encourage, stabilize, and wake as well body as mind. The follower is more quickly concentrated on what he does.

For all these implications, standing poses come first in a sequence. Physically, for a very simple reason: muscles moving the legs are the heaviest, the widest muscles of the body. We have to stimulate and warm them up first, because they are going to bring their stimulation to the whole body. Furthermore, this category of postures, by the muscles which they request, demand most strength and endurance (qualities they also develop over time).

From an ayurvedic point of view, balancing Vata dosha first is indispensable, for a physical and a mental balance. Grounding, stabilizing or consolidate Vata in a state of peace is essential, and standing poses, that favour physical balance, are the ones on which we are going to work first of all. Always according to Âyurveda, it is also necessary to finish by balancing and calming poses, or body and especially mind will be agitated at the end of the practice, at the opposite of what we are looking for (that’s why we have seated forward folds at the end of the practice).

 

Example of standing poses:

utthita trikonasana & ardha chandrasana

utthita trikonasana & ardha chandrasana

Utthita Trikonasana : every part of the body are engaged in this posture, that strengthens core and abdominal belt, opens hips and shoulders, and stretches legs. Excellent pose to work extension of the upper body, in a binding posture.

Ardha Chandrasana : the « half-moon » improves balance, stamina, concentration and self-confidence. It opens hips, strengthens ankles, knees and lower part of the body.

These 2 postures relieve pains in the low back.

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