Work Your Core With Standing Balance Yoga Poses

Standing balancing moves are challenging. Leg strength, upper body flexibility, and the ability to balance on one leg are all required to complete this sequence of exercises. Move gracefully from pose to pose as you hold your lifted leg off the floor for the duration of the workout.

If your standing leg starts to shake, that's a good sign that you're building muscle. Take your time and breathe to help keep your balance. Engage your core for extra support and to make the most of your exercise time.


Awkward Chair - Utkatasana

woman doing awkward chair pose

Barry Stone

Begin in utkatasana (also known as awkward chair pose), with both legs bent at the knee. Focus on your hips, thighs, and buttocks as you keep your toes pointed straight ahead. Squat down until your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. When you raise your arms, be careful to avoid shrugging your shoulders.


Eagle Pose - Garudasana

woman doing eagle pose

Barry Stone

For garudasana, bring your weight into your right leg as you lift the left foot off the floor. Keeping the right knee bent, wrap the left thigh over the right. Then, bring your left foot to hook around behind the right calf. Once you feel stable, incorporate your arms into the pose by wrapping the right arm over the left to touch your palms together. Hold here for up to five breaths.


Tree Pose - Vrksasana

Woman doing tree pose

Barry Stone

For tree pose, unwrap your arms and bring them overhead. Next, unwrap your left leg as you straighten the right leg. Bring the sole of your left foot to your inner right thigh. (Try to do this without using your hands.) Bring your hands into anjali mudra. Hold this pose for up to five breaths.


King Dancer Pose - Natarajasana

woman doing king dancer pose

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For natarajasana, remove the sole of your left foot from your inner right thigh, and bring the left knee parallel to the right knee. Keep your left leg bent and your foot off the floor. Hold the inside of your left foot with your left hand as you raise the left knee and right arm up. Hold up to five breaths.


Warrior III - Virabhadrasana III

Woman doing warrior III outside

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For virabhadrasana III, bring both hands to your hips. Straighten your left leg as you stretch it back behind you. Square your hips to the floor, bringing your lifted left leg and torso parallel to the ground. You can keep your hands on your hips or choose another arm variation. Hold for up to five breaths.


Standing Split - Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Woman doing the Standing Split

Ann Pizer

Bring both hands to the floor and forward bend over your right leg, lifting the left leg high. Keep the hips squared to the floor for five breaths. You can play with your balance during this time, moving your hands closer to your right foot and bringing one or both hands to the right ankle. After the fifth breath, open the hips, stacking the left over the right.


Half Moon Pose - Ardha Chandrasana

Woman doing Ardha Chandrasana

Barry Stone

Your hips are already in a stacked position from the previous pose. For ardha chandrasana, lift the left hand from the floor and bring it straight up toward the ceiling. Let your gaze follow your hand as you turn your head to face upward as well. Flex the left foot strongly. Hold for up to five breaths.


Sugarcane Pose - Ardha Chandra Chapasana

Woman doing Sugarcane Pose

Barry Stone

For ardha chandra chapasana, bend the left knee and reach the left hand back to hold the top of your left foot. Press the foot into the hand and the hand into the foot, coming into a back bend. Keep the gaze upwards. Hold for up to five breaths.


Revolved Half Moon Pose - Parivrtta Ardha Chandrasana

Woman doing revolved half moon pose

Barry Stone

Bring the left hand down to the floor, under the left shoulder. Square off the hips to the floor. Bring your right hand to your waist. Open your right shoulder toward the ceiling, straightening the right arm up when you are ready. Hold for up to five breaths.


Forward Bend - Uttanasana

Woman doing standing forward bend

Barry Stone

Finally, complete the sequence with a forward bend, called uttanasana. Let your left foot come down to the floor next to your right. Fold over your legs, and take a rest. When you are ready, repeat the sequence, this time standing on your left leg.

By Ann Pizer, RYT
Ann Pizer is a writer and registered yoga instructor who teaches vinyasa/flow and prenatal yoga classes.