Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog)
One of the most widely recognized yoga poses, Downward-Facing Dog
is an all-over, rejuvenating stretch.
Ardha Chandrasana (Half Moon Pose)
This pose is a highly effective strengthener for the legs and ankles. You
have to sort of squint to see the half moon; try drawing a half-circle
from the raised top hand through the lifted foot to the standing foot and
Garudasana (Eagle Pose)
For Garudasana you need strength, flexibility, and endurance, but also
unwavering concentration that actually calms the fluctuations (vrtti) of
consciousness. This is true of all the yoga poses, but it's a bit more
obvious in pretzel-like Eagle.
Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose)
Also called the Cosmic Dancer, Nataraja is another name for Shiva. His
dance symbolizes cosmic energy in its "five actions:" creation,
maintenance, and destruction or re-absorption of the world,
concealment of authentic being, and salvific grace
Parivrtta Parsvakonasana (Revolved Side Angle Pose)
Revolved Side Angle Pose is one of three revolved variations of
standing poses, the other two being Revolved Triangle Pose and
Revolved Half Moon Pose.
Parivrtta Trikonasana (Revolved Triangle Pose)
Parivrtta Trikonasana is usually sequenced just after (as a counterpose
to) Trikonasana. You can also use this pose as a standing preparation
for seated forward bends and twists.
Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide-Legged Forward Bend)
The pose as described here is technically known as Prasarita
Padottanasana I (in the Iyengar and Ashtanga systems).
Tadasana (Mountain Pose)
Tadasana can be practiced as a starting position for standing poses, in
between standing poses, or by itself to improve posture.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog Pose)
Upward-Facing Dog will challenge you to lift and open your chest.
Utkatasana (Chair Pose)
Chair Pose clearly works the muscles of the arms and legs, but it also
stimulates the diaphragm and heart.
Utthita Parsvakonasana (Extended Side Angle Pose)
This pose creates a stretch along the top side of the body, from the
back heel through the raised arm. What s often neglected is the need
to match the stretch along the under-side of the torso.
Utthita Trikonasana (Extended Triangle Pose)
Triangle Pose is the quintessential standing pose in many styles of
Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose)
Named for a fierce warrior, an incarnation of Shiva, this version of
Warrior Pose increases stamina.
Virabhadrasana III (Warrior III Pose)
This pose is customarily entered from Virabhadrasana I. Here we'll
move into the pose from a high lunge position.
Vrksasana (Tree Pose)
Vrksasana clarifies just how challenging it can be to stand on one leg.
Seated & Twists
Anjali Mudra (Salutation Seal)
Practicing Anjali Mudra is an excellent way to induce a meditative state
Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose)
Named after a legendary teacher of yoga, this twist energizes the spine
and stimulates the digestive fire.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose)
Bound Angle Pose, also called Cobbler's Pose after the typical sitting
position of Indian cobblers, is an excellent groin- and hip-opener.
Bharadvajasana I (Bharadvaja's Twist)
This gentle twist is a tonic for the spine and the abdominal organs.
Gomukhasana (Cow Face Pose)
Can't see the cow face? Look closely at yourself in a full-length mirror
as you perform this pose. Notice that the crossed legs look a little like
the lips, and the bent-elbow arms, one up and one down, are the ears.
See it now?
Hanumanasana (Monkey Pose)
Hanuman literally means "having large jaws." Hanuman, a figure in
Hindu mythology, is the semi-divine chief of an army of monkey
warriors in India's great epic, the Ramayana. As the son of the wind
god, Vayu (or Pavana), Hanuman is able to fly.
Krounchasana (Heron Pose)
This pose intensifies the stretch of Triang Mukha Eka Pada
Marichyasana I (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi, I)
Marichi is the son of Brahma and chief of the Maruts, the warlike storm
gods. He's one of the seven seers (rishis) or lords of creation
(prajapatis), who intuitively "see" and declare the divine law of the
Marichyasana III (Pose Dedicated to the Sage Marichi, III)
Marichi's Pose is sometimes called the Sage's Pose. Usually the pose
is described with the arm to the outside of the bent knee, but this
position isn't accessible to most students. Here we'll work with the arm
hugging the leg that's bent.
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)
The ultimate yoga pose, Padmasana requires open hips and consistent
Paripurna Navasana (Full Boat Pose)
An abdominal and deep hip flexor strengthener, Boat Pose requires
you to balance on the tripod of your sitting bones and tailbone.
Pasasana (Noose Pose)
In the full pose the arms are wrapped around the squatting legs and the
hands are clasped behind the back, forming a "noose."
Upavistha Konasana (Wide-Angle Seated Forward Bend)
Upavistha Konasana is a good preparation for most of the seated
forward bends and twists, as well as the wide-leg standing poses.
By Richard Rosen
Virasana (Hero Pose)
Virasana is a balm for tired legs at the end of the day, as well as an
alternative to Lotus for seated meditation.
Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand)
This version of Shoulderstand is performed with blanket support under
Salamba Sirsasana (Supported Headstand)
Standing on your head in proper alignment calms the brain and
strengthens the body.
Balasana (Child's Pose)
Balasana is a restful pose that can be sequenced between more
Janu Sirsasana (Head-to-Knee Pose)
A forward bend for all levels of students, Janu Sirsasana is also a
Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend)
Literally translated as "intense stretch of the west," Paschimottanasana
can help a distracted mind unwind.
Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)
Despite its name, which means "intense stretch" pose, Uttanasana will
wake up your hamstrings and soothe your mind.
Matsyasana (Fish Pose)
Unlike many of the poses that mimic the creatures they re named
after, Fish Pose doesn t actually look like a fish. Instead, it s said that
if you perform this pose in water, you will be able to float like a fish.
Savasana (Corpse Pose)
Savasana is a pose of total relaxation making it one of the most
Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclining Bound Angle Pose)
A classic restorative posture, Reclining Bound Angle Pose can be
modified to meet any level of resistance in the hips and groins.
By Richard Rosen
Supta Padangusthasana (Reclining Big Toe Pose)
Supta Padangusthasana provides relief from backache and stretches
the hips, hamstrings, and calves.
Supta Virasana (Reclining Hero or Heroine Pose)
Reclining Hero or Heroine Pose intensifies the stretch in the thighs and
ankles of its upright version. It also creates new stretches in the front
groins, the psoas muscles, and the deep hip flexors.
Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)
Said to reverse the normal downward flow of a precious subtle fluid
called amrita (immortal) or soma (extract) in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika,
modern yogis agree that Viparita Karani may have the power to cure
whatever ails you.
Bakasana (Crane Pose)
A compact arm balance, Crane Pose tones and strengthens the abdominal organs
Chaturanga Dandasana (Four-Limbed Staff Pose)
Chaturanga Dandasana is the challenging yoga push-up frequently practiced as part
of the traditional Sun Salutation sequence.
Plank Pose is a good precursor to more challenging arm balances.
Vasisthasana (Side Plank Pose)
This pose is a powerful arm and wrist strengthener and might also be called the One-
Arm Balance. Here you re balanced on the same-side hand and outer foot, with your
torso and legs aligned at a 45-degree angle with the floor.
Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)
This posture promotes flexibility in the spine and encourages the chest
Dhanurasana (Bow Pose)
This pose is so called because it looks like an archer's bow, the torso
and legs representing the body of the bow, and the arms the string.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana (One-Legged King Pigeon Pose)
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana is a deep backbend that puffs the chest,
making a yogi resemble a pigeon.
Salabhasana (Locust Pose)
Locust Pose is an effective means for strengthening the back of the
torso, legs, and arms in preparation for the deeper, presumably
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose)
This active version of Bridge Pose calms the brain and rejuvenates
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose, Backbend, or Wheel)
This full backbend strengthens the arms, legs, abdomen, and spine,
and gives a boost of energy.
Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upward-Facing Dog)
Upward-Facing Dog will challenge you to lift and open your chest.
Ustrasana (Camel Pose)
Camel Pose is a transition between the simpler prone backbends like
Dhanuranasa (Bow Pose) and the more challenging backbends like
Urdhva Dhanurasana (Upward Bow Pose). For this pose you can pad
your knees and shins with a thickly folded blanket.