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Build Strength & Improve Balance With This Challenging Standing Yoga Sequence (No Yoga Mat Required)

Laura Finch on August 6, 2020
Laura is a yoga teacher who completed 200 hours of training.

Yoga mat is an ingenious invention. But, let’s be honest – you can’t always carry one around.

Fret not!

With this standing-only yoga sequence, you can build strength and improve balance without stepping on a yoga mat (or even taking your shoes off).

This challenging 20-minute yoga sequence is:

  • Wrist friendly – perfect for days you need a break from push-ups or Downward dogs;
  • Travel friendly – so you could continue your practice wherever you are;
  • Small spaces friendly – as long as you have space to stretch your arms out, you’re good to go.

Download A FREE Printable Of The Standing Yoga For Strength & Balance

standing yoga for strength & balance [click here to get the free pdf]

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Standing Yoga Sequence For Strength & Balance: Step-By-Step Instructions

Please take the time to study the contradictions and precautions for every pose on your own. Be sure to check with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

1. Mountain Pose/Tadasana

Mountain pose

  • Start in a standing position with your feet hip-distance apart or wider.
  • Try to distribute your weight evenly by pressing into all four corners of your feet into the ground.
  • Close your eyes and take about 5 deep breaths.

 

2. Standing Side Bend/Parsva Urdhva Hastasana Variation

Side Bend pose

  • On an exhale, reach your right hand up to the sky, slowly arching to the left. You will feel a gentle stretch on your right side.
  • Inhale and return to the center. Switch sides.
  • Repeat the movement about 3 times on each side.

 

3. Cactus Arms

  • Inhale as you reach your arms up.
  • Exhale, draw your shoulder blades down the spine.
  • Bent your elbows and lower them until they are leveled with your shoulders.
  • Repeat the movement 3 times and return to Mountain.

 

4. Chair to Standing Forward Bend Flow/Utkatasana to Uttanasana Flow

  • From Mountain pose, inhale and raise the arms overhead with palms facing each other.
  • On an exhale, start bending your knees as if you were trying to sit in the chair. Shift the weight of your body slightly back and into your heels.
  • Hold Chair Pose for an inhale.
  • Exhale and hinge from your hips into Standing Forward Bend.
  • Inhale as you lift your body into Mountain.
  • Move from Chair to Standing Forward Bend for about 3 times.

 

5. Standing Knee to Chest/Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana Variation

  • Focus your gaze on one spot in front of you and shift the weight onto your right foot.
  • Engage your abdominals and leg muscles as you lift your left foot off the ground and draw your knee close to the chest without using your hands.
  • Try to keep your hips level and your spine upright.
  • If comfortable, extend your left leg straight.
  • Hold the pose for about 3 full breaths.

 

6. Warrior I with Cat-Cow/Virabhadrasana I Variation

  • From Standing Knee to Chest, slowly step back with your extended leg. Bend your front knee and settle into Warrior I.
  • Keep your hips squared to the front – adjust them with your hands if needed.
  • Spread your arms into W like Cactus arms and inhale as you open through your heart.
  • Exhale and draw your elbows together in front of you, rounding with your chest.
  • Repeat the Cat-Cow movement with your arms and upper back for 3 rounds.

 

7. Humble Warrior/ Baddha Virabhadrasana

  • Release Cactus Arms.
  • Inhale as you clasp your hands behind your lower back and puff up through your chest.
  • Exhale and lean with your torso forward.
  • Hold the pose for about 3 full breaths.

 

8. Pyramid/Parsvottanasana

Pyramid/Parsvottanasana

  • Release the clasp of the hands and straighten your front leg as you move into Pyramid pose.
  • Keep your hips level and keep your spine long and straight.
  • Use a set of stacked blocks or a bolster if you need to bring the floor closer to you.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

9. Standing Splits/Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

Standing Splits/Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana

  • Bring the weight onto your front right foot and lift your left leg up behind you.
  • Focus on keeping your hips square rather than lifting your back leg higher. Relax your upper body and neck.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

10. Standing Forward Bend/Uttanasana

  • Slowly lower your left leg down into Standing Forward Bend.
  • Make space for your body - if you need to keep your feet wider than hip-distance apart, go ahead!
  • Bend your knees as much as needed to place your palms on the ground.
  • Hold for about 3 breaths.

 

11. Mountain Pose/Tadasana

Mountain pose

  • Come up with a straight back into Mountain pose.
  • Take a few breaths to re-center.

Repeat steps 5-10 on the other side.

12. Warrior II/Virabhadrasana II

Warrior II/Virabhadrasana II

  • From Mountain, step your left foot behind, bend your front knee and open into Warrior II.
  • Keep your legs and core engaged, and your right knee spiraling open to the right.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

13. Reverse Warrior/Viparita Virabhadrasana

Reverse Warrior/Viparita Virabhadrasana

  • Inhale as you circle your right hand up towards the sky ad slide your left hand down the back leg.
  • You’ll feel a gentle stretch on your right side.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

14. Extended Side Angle Pose/Utthita Parsvakonasana

Extended Side Angle Pose/Utthita Parsvakonasana

  • On an exhale, lower your right hand down and rest your right elbow on your right knee. Alternatively, place your hand on the block or hover it off the ground.
  • Keep your core engaged and your body spiraling open.
  • Stretch your top arm up to the sky or over your head for an added stretch in your side.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

15. Goddess Squat/ Utkata Konasana

Goddess Squat/ Utkata Konasana

  • Inhale and open into Five Pointed Star Pose with your arms stretched to the sides and feet wider than hip-distance apart.
  • Press your palms together at heart center and squat into Goddess squat.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

16. Triangle/Trikonasana

Triangle/Trikonasana

  • From Goddess squat, straighten your legs.
  • Engage your legs, and draw your navel in as you lift your arms parallel to the ground.
  • Lengthen through both sides of the waist and start leaning to the right.
  • Bring your right arm onto the thigh, shin, block, or the floor and point the left arm up to the ceiling.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

17. Lunge Pose/Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Lunge Pose/Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

  • Exhale as you bend your front knee and frame your front foot with your hands.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

18. Standing Forward Bend/Uttanasana

  • From Lunge pose, step your left foot forward into Standing Forward Bend.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

19. Mountain Pose/Tadasana

Mountain pose

  • Come up with a straight back into Mountain pose.
  • Take a few breaths to re-center.

Repeat steps 12-18 on the other side.

20. Eagle Pose/ Garudasana

Eagle Pose/ Garudasana

  • Focus your gaze on one spot and shift your weight onto the right leg.
  • Cross your left leg over your right thigh and sit in an imaginary chair.
  • Intertwine your arms by placing your left arm over your right arm. If flexibility allows, bring your palms together in prayer mudra.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

21. Warrior III with Eagle Arms/ Virabhadrasana III Garundasana Arms

Warrior III with Eagle Arms

  • From Eagle Pose, start pulling your elbows towards your knees and rounding with your spine.
  • Slowly unwrap your top left leg from Eagle and kick it behind you until it’s parallel to the floor.
  • Keep the intertwine of arms.
  • To challenge your balance, try to bring your top leg back into Warrior III without touching the floor.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

22. Wide Legged Forward Bend/Prasarita Padottanasana I

Wide Legged Forward Bend/Prasarita Padottanasana I

  • From Warrior III, slowly lower your back leg onto the floor.
  • Lift your torso up, unwrap the arms, and bring your feet parallel to each other.
  • Exhale as you bend forward into Standing Wide-Legged Forward Bend.
  • You might want to widen your stance if your hamstrings are tight, or shorten your stance for a deeper stretch.
  • Move the weight of your body to the balls of your feet for a deeper hamstring stretch.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

23. Side Lunge Or Half Squat Pose/Skandasana

Side Lunge Or Half Squat Pose/Skandasana

  • Inhale and lift your torso halfway.
  • Bend your right knee and squat onto your right leg while keeping your left leg straight.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.

 

24. Lunge Pose/Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

Lunge Pose/Utthita Ashwa Sanchalanasana

  • Return to Lunge on your right leg.
  • You can hold the pose or move to the next one as you exhale.

 

25. Standing Forward Bend/Uttanasana

  • From Lunge pose, step your left foot forward into Standing Forward Bend.
  • Hold for 3 full breaths.

 

26. Mountain Pose/Tadasana

Mountain pose

  • Come up with a straight back into Mountain pose.
  • Take a few breaths to re-center.

Repeat steps 20-25 on the other side.

27. Standing Half Pigeon Pose/Ardha Kapotasana Variation

Standing Half Pigeon Pose/Ardha Kapotasana Variation

  • Press your palms together in front of your chest. Focus your gaze on one spot and shift your weight onto the right leg.
  • Lift your left foot off the ground and cross the left ankle over your right thigh.
  • Bend your right knee and shift your hips back as if you’re sitting in the imaginary chair. Keep the left foot flexed and the knee rotating outside to the left.
  • Hold for about 3 full breaths.
  • Release and shake it out.
  • Switch sides.

 

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