Why Do We Do So Many Standing Poses in Our Yoga Classes?

“We stand on our legs throughout our waking state; thus, the foundation for movement and action are the legs. The legs have to be trained to make them firm and steady. Without a firm foundation, a building cannot stand. Similarly, without the firm foundation of strong legs and feet, the brain, which is the seat of intelligence, cannot be held in correct alignment with the spine. Hence the standing poses are introduced first.” – Yoga a Gem for Women. Geeta Iyengar


Legs, legs, and more legs!!

Most of us would love to have a great set of legs, you know the ones I am talking about… muscular, lean and look awesome in whatever we choose to wear.

Genetics has a bit to do with what you end up with however working your legs, both upper and lower will get you the best legs you can possibly hope for. That is to say, use them and you will improve them!

Looks aside, and on a more serious note, are you aware that working out your legs can boost your overall health?

Weak legs lead to the overuse and often injury of the upper body and spine and many people with lower back pain present in class with an obvious weakness in the legs.

Yes, when the legs are weak we can still walk and get around however movement is often accompanied by pain and discomfort.


Little stats about legs…

Based on the health information collected from my students over the past 2 years, as many as 85% come to yoga complaining of regular pain in the legs, hips, back and shoulders…

Our legs and core muscles provide both strength and support for our body. They are large muscles and respond better to fewer repetitions and higher weights. So if you are looking to strengthen your legs use weight. Learning to bear your own bodies weight in various standing position is a great place to start.


Get to know your feet and legs.

All students are asked when they enrol if they have been doing any form of exercise or training prior to joining the yoga classes.

The vast majority of people respond by saying they use walking as their one and only form of exercise.

At least they are moving, right?

Walking is a good way to work the muscles in the legs, possibly reduce body fat and improve circulation however you started walking when we were still in nappies, and from my own physical explorations and observations as a teacher, most people do not stand or walk very well at all.

People tend to stand and walk the same way they sit.

If you are a person who tends to collapse over your paperwork or get swallowed by your couch at night, the chances are you will take the same postural patterns along with you for your walks.

Stand tall.
Walk tall, smoothly and quietly.  
Keep your head up and look outwards.
The head should lead the spine upward while the knees, not the feet need to lead the legs forward.
Try to transfer your weight smoothly from one leg to the next.

Have a look at the soles and heels of your shoes.
What is the pattern of wear that you can see?
Where is the weight?

“My feet is my only carriage”- Bob Marley

Get to know your legs and feet in Yoga classes with Jo.  Check out the timetable here.