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Top Yoga poses and essentials of yoga

Top 50 Yoga Poses, Breathing Exercises and Benefits

Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit word yoke, which means to yoke or join together. The Yoga Sutras, which was apparently written in 3000 BC by Patanjali, a Sanskrit scholar, and Indian physician, enclosed a description of the physical yoga postures (1).
Yoga is a practice that combines stretching exercises and various poses with deep breathing and meditation. Yoga is meant to stretch and tone muscles while also keeping the spine and joints flexible. Some people believe that bending, twisting, and stretching massage the internal organs and glands.

Table Of Contents
  1. Introduction to Yoga Poses
  2. How Can Regularly Doing Yoga Help You
  3. 1) Child’s Pose (Balasana)
  4. 2) Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)
  5. 3) Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)
  6. 4) Corpse Pose (Savasana)
  7. 5) Cow Face (Gomukhasana)
  8. 6) Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)
  9. 7) Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)
  10. 8) Mountain Pose (Tadasana)
  11. 9) Crane (Crow) Pose (Bakasana)
  12. 10) Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana)
  13. 11) Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)
  14. 12) Tree Pose (Vrksasana)
  15. 13) Easy Pose (Sukhasana)
  16. 14) Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)
  17. 15) Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)
  18. 16) Camel Pose (Ustrasana)
  19. 17) Fish Pose (Matsyasana)
  20. 18) Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)
  21. 19) Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)
  22. 20) Garland Pose (Malasana)
  23. 21) Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)
  24. 22) Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)
  25. 23) Eagle Pose (Garudasana)
  26. 24) Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)
  27. 25) Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)
  28. 26) Locust Pose (Salabhasana)
  29. 27) Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
  30. 28) Lord of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana)
  31. 29) Chair Pose (Utkatasana)
  32. 30) Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)
  33. 31) Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)
  34. 32) Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)
  35. 33) Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)
  36. 34) Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)
  37. 35) Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)
  38. 36) Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)
  39. 37) Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)
  40. 38) Intense Side Stretch Pose/Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)
  41. 39) Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)
  42. 40) Lotus Pose (Padmasana)
  43. 41) Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)
  44. Pranayam (Breath Control Exercise)
  45. 42) Nadi Sodhana Pranayam (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
  46. 43) Shitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)
  47. 44) Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath)
  48. 45) Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)
  49. 46) Bhastrika Pranayama (The Yogic Breath of Fire)
  50. 47) Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breath)
  51. 48) Simhasana (Lions Breath)
  52. 49) Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath)
  53. 50) Plavini Pranayama (The Floating Breath)
  54. References and Further Reading
  55. Author

Introduction to Yoga Poses

Also read – The Basics of Yoga

Yoga poses are usually performed while breathing deeply and diaphragmatically, which is believed to stimulate oxygen flow to the brain (1). These are some of the psychological effects of yoga that have been published. Yoga has been shown in at least two studies to improve mindfulness (2,3). Despite the fact that the scales used in the studies were different, both reported increased mindfulness.
Yoga has also been shown to reduce job stress in the workplace (4) and in emergency personnel with firefighters (5).

How Can Regularly Doing Yoga Help You

Also read – Hatha Yoga Health Benefits

Yoga originated in India thousands of years ago (8), and in this day and age, an alarming awareness of health and natural remedies among people has been observed by yoga and pranayama, which has been proven an effective method for improving health as well as prevention and management of diseases (8).

Yoga’s therapeutic aspects are being investigated as scientific research into the practise grows (11). Yoga has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety (9), improve autonomic functions by activating neurohormonal mechanisms through the suppression of sympathetic activity, and, more recently, several studies have suggested that yoga is beneficial for the physical health of cancer patients (11) (13). Yoga’s global recognition attests to India’s growing cultural influence.

Different yoga pose beneficial in many health-related issues (6). The following beneficial of yoga are (6) (11)-

  1. Yoga helps to relieve muscular and nervous tension as well as boost energy levels.
  2. Yoga improved physical and quality of life measures in the elderly but not cognitive provisions.
  3. Yoga aid in the development of proper breathing patterns, bowel habits, and regular sleeping patterns.
  4. Yoga improves both positivist and interpretivist asthma outcomes.
  5. Yoga improves functional status and symptoms in people suffering from low back pain.
  6. Yoga improves oxygen saturation in COPD patients.
  7. Yoga improves Rheumatoid Arthritis in Patients with active results but not quality of life in RA patients.
  8. Yoga is beneficial to patients suffering from eating disorders.
  9. Yoga reduced fatigue in people with multiple sclerosis.
  10. Yoga reduces stress and anxiety.
  11. Yoga reduces the amount of time it takes for a woman to give birth.
  12. Yogic breathing has been shown to lower blood pressure.

Yoga is generally acknowledged to be a set of physical exercises (asana) and breathing exercises (pranayama).
Yoga is usually done on a mat in loose clothing and bare feet. A series of poses known as Asanas in Sanskrit are performed slowly and sequentially, with each movement focusing on the deep abdominal breathing that goes with it. Yoga, on the other hand, can cause joint and connective tissue damage if done incorrectly or with improper instruction (7).
Depending on the different teaching styles of yoga that are common worldwide, such as Hatha, Ashtanga, Anasara, Iyengar, and Bikram, the poses are typically held for 4 or 5 breaths. Many of the poses are named after animals, and real yogis recommend that you feel like a cat or a cobra while doing them. The following are a series of yoga poses that can be done in the following positions.

Also Read – Sun Salutation – All You Need To Know

1) Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Child’s Pose (Balasana)

Balasana, also known as the child pose, is a simple relaxation position that can be used to better understand the effects of pulmonary function (10). Balasana is a relaxing pose that can be fluctuated with more challenging asanas.

Type of Pose – Forward Fold

Prime Area – Full Body 

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Kneel on the ground. Sit on your heels and touch your big toes together, then separate your knees about as wide as your hips. (Keep your knees closer together for a more intense massage along the front of your body.)
  2. Exhale, then fold forward, laying your torso between your thighs. Narrow your hip points toward the navel, allowing them to rest on the inner thighs. Broaden your pelvic muscles at the sacrum and lengthen your tailbone away from the back. Tuck your chin in slightly to elevate the base of your skull away from the back of your neck.
  3. For Extended Child’s Pose, walk your hands out toward the front of your mat. Alternatively, reach back toward your feet and place your arms alongside your torso, palms up, releasing the fronts of your shoulders toward the floor. Allow the weight of your shoulders to spread your shoulder blades across your back.
  4. Balasana is a pose of rest. Stay in this resting position for 30 seconds to several minutes.
  5. To come up, first lengthen the front torso, then lift from the tailbone as it presses down and into the pelvis with an inhalation.

Understand its benefits

Child’s Pose stretches the hips, thighs, and ankles gently. When done with the head and torso supported, it relieves back and neck pain. Balasana also helps to relieve stress and fatigue by calming the brain.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a knee injury, avoid Child’s Pose. Spread your legs wider if you’re pregnant, and avoid pressing your stomach against your thighs. If you have a shoulder injury, keep your arms by your sides for the most support.

Dhanurasana is named after the shape the body takes while performing it “a bow”. Dhanu refers to a bow, and asana refers to a posture or pose. A well-strung bow is an asset to a warrior, just as a well-stretched body helps you maintain flexibility and good posture (12).

2) Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Bow Pose (Dhanurasana)

Type of Pose – Backbend

Prime Area – Core

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Lie on your stomach, full length on the floor, face down.
  2. Take a deep breath out and bend your knees. Hold the left foot toe with the left hand and the right foot toe with the right hand as you stretch your arms back.
  3. Exhale completely and pull the legs up, raising the knees above the floor while lifting the chest off the floor. The arms and hands act as a bowstring, tautening the body in the same way a bent bow does.
  4. Lift the head and pull it back as far as possible. Do not place your ribs or pelvic bones on the floor. The weight of the body on the floor is supported solely by the abdomen.
  5. Do not join the legs at the knees when raising them; otherwise, the legs will not be lifted high enough. After you’ve completed the full stretch upwards, connect the thighs, knees, and ankles.

Understand its benefits

Dhanurasana increases blood circulation to the muscles, tendons, and organs. It stimulates and regulates the endocrine glands, especially the thyroid and adrenal glands. It puts a lot of pressure on the spine and stomach, which strengthens the vertebral bones results in the spine becoming elastic. The stomach gas is released, and constipation and dyspepsia are relieved. Shoulder, arm, hand, thigh, and foot muscles and nerves are all positively simulated.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

This posture is limited by the sacroiliac joint, hip joint, and knee joint, and there is a risk of ligament injury in these joints.

3) Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Bridge Pose (Setu Bandha Sarvangasana)

Setu Bandha Sarvangasana is a basic backbend pose that prepares the body for more advanced yoga poses or asanas. It belongs to the lying down category of yoga asanas and is of intermediate difficulty. When compared to other yoga poses, the Bridge Pose has a lot of scientific benefits.

Type of Pose – Backbend

Prime Area – Core

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Lie on your back in the center of your mat, knees bent, legs parallel and hip-distance off from each other.
  2. Bring your feet up to your buttocks. Firmly press down with both feet and inhale to raise your hips, lifting from the pubic bone rather than the navel.
  3. Clasp your hands behind your back and place them on the floor. Get on top of your shoulders by broadening your collarbones. Roll your upper thighs inward and firm the outer shins. Firmly press down with your heels to raise the back of your thighs and the bottom of your buttocks even higher while keeping the thighs parallel.
  4. Exhale, let go of your hands and lower yourself to the floor. 
  5. Allow your back to rest in a neutral position while you notice the spaciousness (vibes) within your chest.

Understand its benefits

Bridge Pose improves posture and helps to reverse the effects of long periods of sitting and computer work. It may help relieve low back pain and help to prevent poor posture and kyphosis (abnormal curvature of the spine). The pose stretches and strengthens your back muscles, buttocks (glutes), thighs, and ankles while gently stretching your abdomen, chest, and the area around your shoulders (14).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

While in the pose, avoid turning your head to the right or left.

If you have neck pain or a back injury, you should avoid this pose. You should also avoid this pose if you have knee pain or a shoulder injury.

4) Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Corpse Pose (Savasana)

Savasana, or corpse pose, is the final and popular part of a yoga class in which people lie down with their arms and legs open in deep rest. The symbolism of savasana as a corpse is based in part on the idea that the corpse is at rest. This pose combines deep breathing with systematic relaxation of each body part (15) (16).

Type of Pose – Supine

Prime Area – Full Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Lay on your back with your legs apart. Allow your straightened legs to relax and allow your feet to fall open to either side. 
  2. Bring your arms parallel to your body while keeping them slightly apart from your torso. Don’t try to keep your palms open. Allow your fingers to curl inward.
  3. Tuck your shoulder blades into your back for added support (This is a gentler version of Bridge Pose’s tucking the shoulders under).
  4. Release any effort you’ve been exerting to keep your limbs in place after you’ve set them up. Relax your entire body, including your face. Allow your body to feel lethargic.
  5. Allow as much natural breathing as you can. If your mind wanders, return it to your breath, but only notice it rather than deepen it.
  6. Stay for a minimum of five minutes or ten minutes would be preferable. If you’re practicing at home, set an alarm so you don’t have to keep checking the time.
  7. To come out, first, take a deep breath. Then begin wriggling your fingers and toes, slowly reawakening your body.
  8. Stretch your arms overhead to get a full-body stretch from your hands to your toes.
  9. Close your eyes and roll to one side, bringing your knees into your chest. Use your bottom arm as a pillow and rest in a foetal position for a few breaths.
  10. With the help of your hands, raise yourself back into a sitting position.

Understand its benefits

A rolled blanket or bolster under your knees can help bring the pelvis into a more comfortable position if you’re experiencing low back tenderness or stiffness. If you are pregnant, raise your head and chest with a rolled blanket or bolster.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

A rolled blanket or bolster under your knees can help bring the pelvis into a more comfortable position if you’re experiencing low back tenderness or stiffness. 

If you are pregnant, raise your head and chest with a rolled blanket or bolster.

5) Cow Face (Gomukhasana)

Cow Face (Gomukhasana)

Cow Face Pose, also known as Gomukhasana, is a stretching pose in which the human body resembles a cow’s face with a little imagination (17).

Type of Pose – Seated

Prime Area – Full Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in a cross-legged seated position. Stack the right knee directly over the left as you slide your knees toward your centre line. To do this, you might want to get on your hands and knees. The right knee should be directly in front of the left. Then separate your feet and return to your seat between them.
  2. Raise your left arm straight up toward the sky.
  3. Bend your left elbow and bring your left hand to the back of your neck. You can gently shift your left elbow toward your midline with your right hand.
  4. Lift the right arm to the right side, bend the elbow, and bring it up to the centre of the back.
  5. Put your hands behind your back. By pressing the back of your head into your left arm, you can keep your head from tilting forward. Breathe slowly and evenly.
  6. On an inhale, let go of your arms and try the pose with your left leg on top and your right arm on top.

Understand its benefits

Cow Face pose is beneficial to the spine (posture), stretches the arms, and relaxes the shoulder muscles, groins, and scapulae. It grounds the body and activates the entire chakra line, particularly the first four (17).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have an injury to your shoulder, neck, or knee, you should avoid this pose. 

Pay close attention to how this pose feels on your knees and prop yourself appropriately, or skip it if you can’t find a position that doesn’t cause knee pain.

6) Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)

Cat Pose (Marjaryasana)

Cat Pose (Marjaryasana) is a simple posture that is usually alternated with cow pose as a gentle spine warmup. It is also an excellent flow for waking up and warming up the spine.

Type of Pose – Backbend

Prime Area – Core

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin on Tabletop, with your hips directly over your knees. Hands should be shoulder width apart and slightly ahead of your shoulders. The wrist creases should be parallel to the mat’s front.
  2. Firmly press down with your hands.
  3. Exhale while rounding your spine toward the ceiling. Drop your crown of your head as well as your tailbone. Pull your lower belly button in and up.
  4. With your hands, push the floor away from you to widen the space between your shoulder blades.
  5. Maintain movement in your spine by keeping your hips over your knees and your arms straight.
  6. Return to a neutral spine to release the pose.

Understand its benefits

Cat Pose is a great way to warm up your spine, shoulders, and hips. It improves posture and helps to offset the effects of sitting and computer work. It relieves tension in the upper back/shoulder/neck region, boosts agni, activates abdominal muscles, blood circulation, Svadhistana and Manipura chakras, and reduces fatigue (17).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

Keep your head in a neutral position if you have a neck injury.

You can substitute a seated or lying down version of Cat and Cow poses if you have wrist or knee injuries.

7) Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward-Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana)

Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana) is the most well-known asana in modern practise. It serves as a transitional pose and can also be used as a resting position. The Sun Salutation sequence includes the pose Downward Dog.

Type of Pose – Forward bend

Prime Area – Mild inversion, hamstring and calf stretch

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin on your hands and knees, hips above knees and shoulders above wrists.
  2. Spread your fingers and bring your hands slightly forward of your shoulders, with your middle finger pointing forward.
  3. Consider pressing through the outer edges of your palm, the base of your fingers, and your fingertips to form a suction cup in the middle of your palm. This is referred to as Hasta Bandha.
  4. Roll your upper arms away from you and your forearms inwards to create a spiral action in your arms.
  5. On an exhalation, tuck your toes under and engage your lower belly, drawing the navel back to the spine. To get into an upside-down V pose, press your hands together and lift your hips back and up.
  6. As you find length in your spine, keep your knees bent at first.
  7. Spread your collar bones and slide your shoulder blades down your spine. The base of the neck became more relaxed.
  8. Maintaining spine length, ‘walk your dog’ by bending and straightening your legs alternately. Eventually bringing both heels to the ground. They are not required to touch the ground.
  9. Stay for 5 deep breaths.
  10. To exit the pose, return your knees to the floor and transition into Child’s pose or a lunge by stepping one foot towards your hands.

Understand its benefits

Downward Dog is an excellent pose for relieving tension in the spine between strong backbends and forward bends. This pose strengthens the entire body, specifically the upper body, arms, shoulders, abdomen, and legs. This also helps to stretch the back of the body, including the ankles, calves, hamstrings, and spine. This is also beneficial for calming the mind and stimulating blood circulation (17) (18).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a wrist injury or carpal tunnel syndrome, or if you are in your last trimester of pregnancy, avoid this pose. If you have high blood pressure, heart disease, vertigo, or a slipped disc in your spine, you should avoid it (19).

8) Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose (Tadasana)

Mountain Pose (Tadasana) is the foundation for all other asanas in yoga, particularly the standing poses. Tsana is derived from the Sanskrit words ta, which means “mountain,” and sana, which means “posture” or “seat” (20).

Type of Pose – Standing

Prime Area – Alignment and posture

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Stand with your feet slightly apart and your weight evenly distributed on both of your feet.
  2. Raise your arms above your head and interlock your fingers, palms facing up, while inhaling.
  3. Raise your shoulders to your ears, then exhale and roll them back and down your spine, opening your chest and straightening your posture.
  4. Allow your breath to return to its natural rhythm and bring your physical body to a state of calmness.
  5. Hold this position for at least ten minutes. Increase the amount of time you practise over the course of weeks, months, or years.
  6. As you maintain physical stillness, become aware of more subtle aspects of your being. Simply allow your attention to notice what it notices with a childlike curiosity as you practise, without trying to make sense of it philosophically.
  7. Send the energy of a smile into any area of your body where you are experiencing physical discomfort.

Understand its benefits

Tadasana improves body posture and relieves pain in the back, hip, and outer side of the leg caused by compression of a spinal nerve root in the lower back, which is frequently caused by degeneration of a vertebral disc. Your knees, thighs, and ankles will become stronger as you practise this asana on a regular basis, as will your buttocks and abdomen. This asana aids in the reduction of flat feet, the mobility of your spine, and the regulation of your digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems (20).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

The mountain is a safe pose unless you are feeling some dizzy or lightheaded. To feel stable while pregnant, a wider stance may be required.

9) Crane (Crow) Pose (Bakasana)

Crane (Crow) Pose (Bakasana)

Crow, also known as crane, is an armbalancing posture that serves as the foundation for the majority of other arm balances in yoga (22).

Type of Pose – Abdomen, arms, wrist, and upper back

Prime Area – Upper body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in a squat with your knees wider than your hips. You can have your feet together or apart.
  2. Place your hands 6–8 inches in front of your feet and shoulder-distance apart on the floor. Your hands can be a little wider if your shoulders are tight.
  3. Raise your hips off the ground and onto the balls of your feet. Bring your knees up to your thighs and your upper arms.
  4. Tilt your torso forward until your shoulders are in line with your knees.
  5. Press your knees firmly against your upper arms. Crow can be balanced on your triceps, while Crane can be tucked closer to your armpits.
  6. Continue reaching forward with your chest until your elbows are stacked over your wrists and your centre of gravity shifts.
  7. Raise your heels to the level of your buttocks. You can either grip your outer shoulders with your knees or balance on your triceps.
  8. Press your arms as straight as possible while bringing your feet and buttocks together for Crane.
  9. Hold for 5–10 breaths before lowering your feet to the floor.

Understand its benefits

Crow Pose stretches your upper back while strengthening your wrists, forearms, and abdomen. It boosts core strength and balance. This pose is intended to boost confidence, alleviate stress and anxiety, improve concentration, and foster creativity in the practitioner (22).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

People who have a previous wrist or shoulder injury, heart problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, or cerebral thrombosis should avoid practicing Bakasana.

Don’t raise the buttocks too high because this puts too much strain on the arms. Do not attempt to raise your feet from the ground.

10) Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana)

Big Toe Pose (Padangusthasana)

Padangusthasana, also known as the big toe pose, is a standing asana from the Ashtanga yoga tradition. Padangusthasana derives its name from the Sanskrit words pada (foot), angustha (thumb), and asana (pose) (23).

Type of Pose – Backbend bose, stretching pose, and standing pose

Prime Area – Hamstrings and calves

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Stand up straight and space your feet about 6 inches apart. Maintain complete leg straightness and lift your kneecaps.
  2. As you exhale, lower your torso and head as one unit. Lower your body, but make sure you’re bending at the hips, not the waist. Bend forward until the tops of your knees are in contact with your brow. Make sure to keep your legs straight the entire time.
  3. In between the big toe and the second toe, place your index and middle fingers. Using those fingers and the thumb, firmly grasp the big toe. Firmly press your toes against the fingers.
  4. As you inhale, raise your torso as if you were going to stand. Release your torso as you exhale, allowing your lower back to hollow out depending on your flexibility.
  5. Inhale and exhale as you lift your torso up, increasing the stretch in your hamstrings. In cycles, make sure to lift the sternum and then lower the torso and sternum towards the knees.
  6. After many number of cycles, exhale and lower your elbows to the sides. Pull-on the big toes with your elbows to the side. Hold this position for a set amount of time before returning to the standing position.

Understand its benefits

Big Toe pose is excellent for stretching many muscles in the body and is especially beneficial for people who have flat feet (23). Big Toe Pose benefits include stretching the hamstrings, calves, and spine, stimulating digestion, activating the liver and spleen, relieving headaches, and calming the mind.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a lower back or neck injury, avoid this pose.

11) Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

Peacock Pose (Mayurasana)

Gheranda Samhita describes “Mayurasana” as one of the 32 important Asana. The Peacock, according to Hindu mythology, represents immortality, love, and patience. Peacock Pose, also known as Mayurasana in Sanskrit, strengthens the core while stretching the wrists on the palm side (24).

Type of Pose – Advanced hand-balancing

Prime Area – Wrists, forearms, and arms

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Kneel on the floor, then bring your feet together and separate your knees.
  2. Lean forward and place both palms on the floor between the knees, fingers pointing towards the feet. Hand positions will need to be adjusted for comfort and flexibility.
  3. Bring the forearms and elbows together. Lean forward even more, resting the abdomen on the elbows and the chest on the upper arms.
  4. Stretch the legs back until they are straight and together.
  5. Tense the body’s muscles and slowly raise the trunk and legs to a horizontal position on the floor. Hold your head up. The entire body should now be supported solely by the palms of the hands.
  6. Attempt to raise the legs and feet higher while keeping them straight by using more muscular effort and adjusting the body’s balance. Do not squeeze.
  7. In the final position, the weight of the body should be supported by the abdominal muscles rather than the chest. Maintain the pose for a few seconds before slowly returning to the starting position.

Understand its benefits

Mayurasana helps eliminate all diseases and disorders, including those caused by phlegm, bile, and wind irregularities. The Peacock posture eliminates the effects of unwholesome food, generates heat in the stomach, eliminates the effects of lethal poisons, and easily cures diseases such as Gulma and fever (24).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you feel pain in your wrists, arms, or hands while performing this pose, stop immediately.

Do not perform Peacock Pose after abdominal surgery because the elbows put pressure on the stomach. Check with your doctor to see how long you can hold this pose after surgery. Because your stomach rests on your elbows, pregnant women should avoid this pose.

In this yoga pose, the wrists and other arm joints are heavily involved. People who have wrist or elbow injuries should avoid putting pressure on these body parts.

12) Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree Pose (Vrksasana)

Tree pose, also known as Vrikshasana or Vrksasana from the Sanskrit words “vrksa” which means “tree” and “asana” which means “pose,” is a standing yoga pose that requires balance and coordination (25).

Type of Pose – Standing posture

Prime Area – Lower Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Extend your toes, press your feet into the mat, and tense your leg muscles while standing in the Tadasana position. To gently lift your lower belly, raise your front hip points toward your lower ribs.
  2. Inhale deeply while lifting your chest and exhale while drawing your shoulder blades down your back. Look straight ahead at a stable vantage point.
  3. Raise your right foot high onto your left thigh or shin with your hands on your hips. Make no contact with the knee.
  4. Put your right foot and left leg together.
  5. Check that your pelvis is squared to the front and level.
  6. When you feel stable, make Anjali Mudra with your hands at your heart or stretch your arms overhead like branches reaching for the sun.
  7. Hold for a few breaths before stepping back into Mountain Pose and repeating on the other side.

Understand its benefits

This standing posture can aid in the improvement of your balance, postural awareness, and body awareness. This pose can help to calm and relax the mind, alleviating anxious thoughts and feelings.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

Vrksasana is not recommended for people who have high blood pressure, suffer from vertigo, insomnia, dizziness, or have migraine headaches.

Do not attempt this pose if you have knee or ankle pain or if you have previously had knee or ankle surgery. Incorrect posture can also cause shin and knee pain.

13) Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Easy Pose (Sukhasana)

Sukhasana, also known as the Easy Pose, is one of the most comfortable yoga asanas. It is ideal for beginners and those who need to ease into things (26).

Type of Pose – Seated

Prime Area – Back, thigh, and ankle

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Sit with your torso on the floor, then cross your legs, placing your feet directly below your knees. Place your hands on your knees or on your lap, palms facing up or down.
  2. To help extend the spine, press the hip bones into the floor and reach the crown of the head up. Drop the shoulders down and back, and press the chest forward.
  3. Face, jaw, and belly should all be relaxed. Allow your tongue to rest on the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth.
  4. Deeply inhale through the nose and into the belly. Hold for as long as you feel comfortable.

Understand its benefits

Sukhasana stretches your spine, allowing you to get a much-needed backstretchstretch. It broadens your chest and relaxes your mind, helping to keep you smart and confident during pregnancy. It stretches your hips, relieves fatigue, and improves your mood. The pose energizes you and increases your motivation to work. It improves digestion and breathing, keeping your child inside healthy and hale. It maintains your peace and tranquility, which is essential during pregnancy (26).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a knee injury, you should avoid this pose. Always consult your doctor before performing this or any other yoga pose if you are pregnant.

14) Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)

Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana)

The eight-angle pose is named after Ashtavakra, a spiritual prodigy who, while still in the womb, corrected his scholarly father’s mispronunciations of hymn recitations from the Rig Veda (27).

The name Astavakrasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which consists of three words: Asta (or ashta) + Vakra + Asana, which means “Asta or ashta” = “eight,” “Vakra” = “bent or curved,” and “Asana” = “pose or posture.”

Type of Pose – Advance

Prime Area – Arm strength, balance, and hamstring stretch

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. To begin, sit comfortably in a cross-legged position with your right knee bent and the sole of the same foot (right) just near your right hips/buttocks.
  2. Maintain a threading motion with your right arm beneath your right knee. Lift your right foot’s sole off the floor, ensuring that your shin is parallel to the ground. Using your right arm, try to bring your right knee as far up as possible. Bring your right knee over your right shoulder.
  3. After that, place your palms firmly on the floor while keeping your left leg straight. Lift your body off the ground using your palms and arm strength.
  4. After you’ve raised your left leg, bend it and try to hook the left ankle around your right leg. At that point, keep your torso wide in front of you, parallel to the floor. Then, bring both legs to the right side of your body.
  5. Maintain a straight line with both of your legs. 
  6. Hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing normally and evenly. Now, lower your body to the floor and repeat the process on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

Eight-Angle Pose (Astavakrasana) stretches the legs and strengthens the arms and abdominal muscles. It also improves core strength and balance. It may help you relieve stress. Being able to accomplish it can boost your self-esteem.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have any shoulder, wrist, or elbow injuries, avoid this pose. Keep in mind that this is an advanced pose that necessitates adequate hip mobility, balance, and core strength. Develop these skills before attempting this pose.

15) Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Bound Angle Pose (Baddha Konasana)

Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose), also known as Cobbler’s Pose, is a great hip opener and a great warm-up for standing poses and twists. The name Baddha Konasana is derived from the Sanskrit name, which is composed of three words: “Baddha” = “bound or restrained”, “Kona” = “angle”, and “Asana” = “pose or posture” (21).

Type of Pose – Seated

Prime Area – Hips

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in Easy Pose by sitting comfortably on the mat with your Sitz bones flat.
  2. Draw your heels in toward your pelvic area. Put your feet together with the soles of your feet.
  3. With interlaced fingers, wrap around your feet/toes.
  4. Relax your groin to open your knees and watch them melt towards the mat.
  5. Extend through the spine while gently rotating your pelvis to rest on the tops of your Sitz bones.
  6. Actively ground down into the earth while simultaneously extending out through your crown — one long line of energy from your sit bones to your crown.
  7. Hold the position for 3-5 minutes.

Understand its benefits

This pose is a hip opener that is great for relieving lower back pain and pain caused by uterine weight during pregnancy. After a series of strengthening postures, this is a good pose to incorporate.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a groin or knee injury, avoid this pose. It may be difficult to open your thighs and/or press your feet together if your hips are extremely tight. Never try to force a pose. 

16) Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Camel Pose (Ustrasana)

Ustrasana is known as camel pose because this back-bending yoga posture resembles a camel. The entire front of the body stretches backward in this pose. Ustra means camel in Sanskrit, and asana means pose.

Type of Pose – Backbend

Prime Area – Core

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Kneel with your back straight and your hips stacked over your knees. If your knees are sensitive, put some padding or a blanket under them.
  2. Draw your hands up the sides of your body until they reach the rib cage’s sides. Allow your thumbs to rest on the back of the ribs while the other four fingers wrap around the sides and front of the rib cage, elbows pointing out. As you begin to open your chest toward the ceiling with this grip, use your hands to lift the rib cage up for support.
  3. Maintain your chest position while reaching your hands back, one at a time, to grab your heels. Tuck your toes under if you need a little more height. If not, the tops of the feet can be flat on the floor.
  4. Bring your hips forward until they are directly above your knees.
  5. Allow your head to return to its natural position, opening your throat. If that doesn’t work for your neck, keep your chin tucked.
  6. Bring your chin to your chest and your hands to your hips to release. Firm your abs and use your hands to support your lower back as you slowly bring your body to an upright kneeling position.

Understand its benefits

Ustrasana is also beneficial to those who have poor digestion. This asana has also been linked to the relief of thyroid problems and their complications when practiced on a regular basis.

Anxiety and stress relief are two of the most well-known huge benefits of Camel Pose (15).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have an injury or a chronic problem with your knees, shoulders, neck, or back, you should avoid Camel Pose.

Don’t force your body into the pose until it’s flexible enough to do so comfortably. Bend back only as far as your body allows. You will gradually increase your flexibility to achieve the pose with continued practise.

17) Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Fish Pose (Matsyasana)

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) is an Asana – Pose. “Matsya” means “fish” in Sanskrit. As a result, as the name implies, the person performing the asana resembles a fish. Matsya is the first of Vishnu’s ten avatars, whose purpose is to restore balance and harmony by resolving chaos, disputes, and problems (28).

Type of Pose – Backbend

Prime Area – Upper Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Bring your forearms flat on the mat and your upper arms parallel to the floor as you rise to your elbows.
  2. Roll your shoulders back and tuck your shoulder blades firmly into your back to keep your forearms in place and puff up your chest. You should be able to feel your body bending backward.
  3. Place your palms on the mat. You can tuck your hands under your buttocks if that feels more secure for them.
  4. Lower the crown of your head until it touches the floor, then open your throat.
  5. Throughout, keep your legs engaged and your toes active.
  6. Press firmly into your forearms and lift your head off the floor to come out. Then, lower your body to the mat.

Understand its benefits

Matsyasana (Fish Pose) is beneficial in stretching the chest and neck, relieving tension in the neck and shoulders, and providing relief from respiratory disorders by encouraging deep breathing. It also tones the parathyroid, pituitary, and pineal glands.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have high or low blood pressure, avoid this posture. Patients suffering from migraines and insomnia should also avoid the Fish Pose. 

It is strongly advised that those who have had serious lower-back or neck injuries do not attempt this pose.

18) Extended Triangle Pose (Utthita Trikonasana)

The triangle pose, also known as Trikonasana (Sanskrit – utthita = extended, tri = three, and ko = angle), is a foundational standing pose in yoga that helps strengthen and lengthens the hamstrings and groin while also opening the shoulders and stretching the hips. 

Type of Pose – Standing, Heart Opener, and Twist

Prime Area – Hamstrings, hips, groin, and chest

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Stand with your feet 3–4 feet apart in a wide stance. Make a 90-degree turn with your right toes. With equal weight, press into both feet.
  2. Raise your arms to your shoulders, palms forward. Lift from the waist as you inhale.
  3. Exhale and gradually bend at the front hip, reaching forward over the right leg and attempting to engage the core to find your edge. Squeeze the quadriceps and groin while pressing the left hip toward the back of your mat to stabilize the left hip.
  4. To lengthen your spine, extend through the crown of your head. Windmill your arms down, stacking the left shoulder over the right and extending the left arm toward the sky. The bottom hand may rest on the shin, ankle, or floor. Allow your palms to face forward and your gaze to be drawn up to your left hand.
  5. Hold the pose for 5 to 10 slow breaths. Look down at the floor and contract your leg muscles, then lift your torso and inhale to rise. Exhale to bring your arms and knees up to your sides. Reverse the process on the other side.

Understand its benefits

Triangle Pose strengthens the legs while stretching the groin, hamstrings, and hips, as well as opening the chest and shoulders. It also tests and improves one’s balance and stability.

Utthita Trikonasana can relieve stress in the lower back resulting in less anxiety and a more stable emotional state (29).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a back, neck, hip, or shoulder injury, avoid this pose. You should also avoid it if you have a headache or migraine, diarrhoea, are pregnant, or have low or high blood pressure. To find out if Triangle Pose is safe for you, speak with your doctor.

19) Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

Head-to-Knee Pose (Janu Sirsasana)

Janu Sirsasana (sanskrit word – Janu Sirsasana means “Janu” = “knee,” “sirsa” = “head,” and “asana” = “pose or posture”), also known as Head to Knee Forward Bend Pose, is an asymmetrical forward bending pose that involves simultaneous stretching and twisting. 

Type of Pose – Forward Fold

Prime Area – Hips, hamstrings, thighs and groin muscles

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Place your legs outstretched in front of you while sitting in a chair. Relax your right knee by placing your right foot against the inside thigh of your left leg.
  2. Flex your left foot, press the top of your thigh down, lengthen your spine, and raise your arms on either side of your head as you inhale.
  3. As you exhale, rotate your upper body slightly so that you are facing your left leg, and then fold forward from the hips.
  4. Keep a long spine, a wide chest, and relaxed shoulders. Put your hands down to frame your left leg, or grab your ankle or foot.
  5. Hold your breath for 5 to 10 seconds.
  6. As you exit the pose, take a deep breath in.

Understand its benefits

The hamstrings, hips, and groin muscles are stretched in Head-to-Knee Pose. This good stretch for tight hamstrings is frequently used by runners and those who participate in sports that require running.

It’s also a restorative pose that’s supposed to help you relieve stress. If you have menstrual cramps or menopausal symptoms, this is one of the recommended poses for relief (30).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a back or knee injury, avoid this pose. You should feel a stretch in your muscles, but if you experience pain, stop. If you’re using a strap to pull yourself forward, don’t draw too hard.

20) Garland Pose (Malasana)

Garland Pose (Malasana)

The Sanskrit name for this pose, “Malasana” (mah-LAHS-uh-nuh), is derived from two words. It is also known as “Wide Squat.” Malasana is a pre-arm balance position which involves stretching your thighs and feeling your body’s strength (31).

Type of Pose – Hip Opener and Standing

Prime Area – Hips, groin muscles, ankles, and quadriceps

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Ascend to a standing position with your feet separated by about a mat’s width.
  2. Squats are performed by bending your knees and lowering your buttocks to the ground. Although it’s natural for your toes to protrude, don’t go overboard. Subsequently, you’ll be working on keeping the feet parallel.
  3. Bring your upper arms inside your knees and bend your elbows to form Anjali mudra (palms together) (prayer position).
  4. Allow your thumbs to touch your sternum as if to help keep your chest lifted while holding your hands at your heart center in Anjali mudra. Keep pressing your upper arms into your thighs and your thighs into your upper arms to stay engaged.
  5. Maintain a straight spine, with your buttocks moving toward the floor and your shoulders relaxed away from your ears.
  6. Stay here for five breaths before straightening your legs to exit. If you prefer, you can jump right into a Forward Fold.
  7. To maximize the benefits of warming up, repeat the pose three times. If you’re practicing at home, it’s fine to alternate between squats and other poses.

Understand its benefits

This asana is beneficial for releasing tension in the thigh and neck region. It stretches the hips, groin, and ankles as well (31).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a knee or low back injury, avoid Garland Pose. Avoid any jerky movements or sudden movements.

Don’t force yourself into a squat that your body isn’t ready for. If you experience any discomfort, you should leave the pose.

21) Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Reclining Bound Angle Pose (Supta Baddha Konasana)

Supta Baddha Konasana (Supta- Reclining, Baddha- Bound, Kona- Angle, Asana-Pose), also known as Reclined Bound Angle Pose, is a Vinyasa yoga pose in which the practitioner coordinates the movement with the breath in order to flow from one yoga pose to the next. 

Type of Pose – Forwardbend, Hip opener and Seated

Prime Area – Thigh, knees and groin

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Lie down on your back and keep your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Extend your knees to either side, bringing your feet’ soles together. 
  2. In Cobbler’s Pose, the legs will be in the same position as they are now (Baddha Konasana). 
  3. Your arms can be in any comfortable position, such as out in a T shape, overhead, by your sides, or resting on your thighs. 
  4. Hold the pose for 5 minutes to allow gravity to deepen your stretch. Throughout the pose, breathe naturally. 
  5. Reach down and assist your knees in reuniting to come out. Then, roll to one side and sit up, using your hands as support.

Understand its benefits

Supta Baddha Konasana is a calming pose that also serves as a hip opener. This pose aids in the relief of stress, improves blood circulation and stimulates the heart. This is also help to relieve from mild depression, menstruation, and menopause symptoms. You should be as supported and comfortable as possible while performing this restorative pose (31).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have knee, groin, or lower back pain, avoid doing this asana.

Pregnant women should practice this asana under the supervision of a qualified instructor. Women who have recently given birth should avoid this pose until their pelvic region heals.

22) Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana)

Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose is a reclining back-bending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga. It is commonly performed as an alternative to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana in a Surya Namaskar (Salute to the Sun) cycle of asanas (Upwards Dog Pose).

Type of Pose – Backbend

Prime Area – Core

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin on your belly, feet hip-distance apart, and hands beside your ribs.
  2. To activate your quadriceps, extend your big toes straight back and press down with all ten toenails.
  3. To broaden the lower back, rotate your inner thighs toward the ceiling.
  4. Lift your head and chest, rolling your shoulders back and down while lightly pressing down with your hands.
  5. Maintain a long back of the neck and lift your sternum rather than your chin.
  6. Straighten your arms and keep your shoulders away from your ears. Keep your elbows bent at a slight angle.
  7. Return to your mat to exit the pose.

Understand its benefits

The cobra pose, or bhujangasana, will aid in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. This pose will also help to improve blood circulation in the pelvic region, which will aid in fertility (31). This pose also help in increasing energy, combating fatigue, and boosting confidence.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have carpal tunnel syndrome or an injury to your back, arms, or shoulders, you should avoid Cobra Pose. Also, if you have recently had abdominal surgery or are pregnant, you should avoid it.

Relax the pose to lower yourself a bit, or release down to rest on your forearms if you feel any strain in your lower back.

23) Eagle Pose (Garudasana)

Garudasana is a balancing pose that is practised as part of hatha yoga. Garudasana is known as the “eagle pose”, in Indian tradition, the word “garud” refers to the Hindu god “Vishnu. (32)”

Type of Pose – Standing, Hip opener and Balance

Prime Area – Legs, gluteus maximus, adductors, and shoulders

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Stand up straight with your knees soft and your gaze fixed on a point directly ahead. Put your weight on your left foot. Raise your right foot from the ground. As high as you can, cross your right thigh over your left thigh.
  2. Wrap your right foot around your left calf. Bring both arms parallel to the floor in front of you.
  3. Bend your elbows and hook your left arm under your right. Draw your forearms together and wrap your left palm around your right palm, crossing your wrists while keeping your arms hooked. In the Namaste position, the palms will be twisted.
  4. Raise your elbows to the level of your shoulders while keeping your shoulders down and away from your ears.
  5. The joined palms should form the shape of an eagle’s beak and rest in front of your nose.
  6. Hold this position until you’ve regained your balance, then slowly bend your left knee to lower your body to the ground.
  7. Maintain a perpendicular spine to the floor and a rising crown of the head.
  8. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds.
  9. Reverse the process on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

The benefits of the Eagle Pose (Garudasana) include stretching the hips, thighs, shoulders, and upper back.

It also improves balance, strengthens the calves, relieves sciatica and rheumatism, and even helps loosens and makes the legs and hips more flexible.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a knee, elbow, wrist, or shoulder injury, you should avoid doing Eagle Pose. If you have trouble with balance, practise it against a wall to avoid falling.

24) Boat Pose (Paripurna Navasana)

The name Paripurna Navasana or Boat Pose is derived from the Sanskrit words paripurna, which means entire or full/complete, and nava, which means boat. Paripurna Navasana is a seated yoga asana that is known to strengthen the abs and hip flexors.

Type of Pose – Seated 

Prime Area – Core

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Place your legs straight out in front of you while sitting on the floor. Put your hands behind your hips on the floor.
  2. Lift your sternum and lean back slightly, but don’t round your back. Your weight should be balanced on the tripod of your sitting bones and tailbone.
  3. Exhale and bend your knees, then lift your thighs to a 45-degree angle above the floor while keeping your knees bent.
  4. Slowly straighten your knees, raising the tips of your toes slightly above the level of your eyes if possible. If this is not possible, keep your knees bent and your shins parallel to the floor.
  5. Draw your shoulders back and extend both arms forward alongside your legs, parallel to the floor, palms facing in, while keeping your heart open and your spine long. Maintain a flat and firm lower belly that is not hard and thick.
  6. Breathe while pointing your toes or flexing your heels. Try to hold the pose for 10 to 20 seconds at a time, gradually increasing your time to a minute.

Understand its benefits

BOAT POSE (Paripurna Navasana) strengthens the lower back and abdominals while also teaching your midsection to collaborate with the rest of your body for overall balance and coordination (33).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

It is customarily advised to avoid this pose if you have a headache, diarrhoea, low blood pressure, asthma, or are pregnant.

25) Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)

Crocodile Pose (Makarasana)

Makarasana means “Crocodile” in Sanskrit because this Pose resembles a crocodile resting in the ocean. In this pose, a similar form can be seen. The crocodile tends to keep its neck and face above the surface of the water. 

Makarasana is a yoga pose that relaxes the nervous system and is performed at the end of a yoga session. This posture relaxes the body and allows it to cool down (34).

Type of Pose – Spirituality and relaxation

Prime Area – Chest and Back

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Lie on the floor on your stomach. Fold your hands and place the tips of your elbows shoulder-width apart on the ground. 
  2. Maintain a straight line with your fingers pointing up. 
  3. Lift your shoulders and head while keeping your neck straight and your gaze forward. In between your palms, rest your chin. 
  4. Your legs are straight and your toes are pointing outwards. Breathe slowly and normally to relax your muscles. 
  5. Hold the asana as long as you can until you are completely relaxed. 
  6. To release, gently pull your palms away from your chin, lower your shoulders and head, and roll over.
  7. Perform makarasana five to ten times, taking five to ten deep breaths each time.

Understand its benefits

It is a yogic pose that can help people with back and shoulder issues. Yoga is also a great way to relieve stress and improve posture, which is especially beneficial for asthma sufferers. It also aids in increasing kidney strength and preventing urinary tract disorders. This posture is beneficial for increasing kidney efficiency (34).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

For beginners, the crocodile pose is a safe yoga pose. It should provide relief, but if you feel pain while performing this pose, release it slowly and with control.

If you have any pre-existing pain or conditions in your spine, back, neck, or shoulders, consult your doctor to see if this pose is safe for you. Similarly, if you’ve recently had surgery, talk to a doctor before getting back into yoga.

Pregnant women should avoid this pose because it requires them to lie on their stomachs.

26) Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

Locust Pose (Salabhasana)

Locust Pose is an excellent pose for strengthening your entire back. The Sanskrit name for the pose, “Salabhasana,” combines the words “Salabha” (locust) and “Asana” (pose) (35).

Type of Pose – Backbend

Prime Area – Upper Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Place your hands by your sides, palms facing the floor, and stretch your legs straight out in front of you, placing the tops of your feet on the mat.
  2. In order to prepare, place your chin or forehead on the mat. Roll your shoulders back and down to widen your chest.
  3. Inhale deeply and raise your head, chest, and arms off the floor. Maintain a straight line with your arms behind you. Turn your hands so that your thumbs are pointing down and reach through all ten fingers. Continue to slide your shoulder blades down your back.
  4. Engage your legs in such a way that your knees lift off the mat. Simultaneously, try not to tighten your buttocks too much so that your tailbone has a place to go as you backbend. Press the tops of your feet firmly into the floor.
  5. Maintain your gaze on the floor directly in front of you so that your neck remains in a neutral position and does not crank up.
  6. For three to five breaths, stay in this position. Exhale, then lower your body to the ground. Turn your head to one side and place your cheek against it.

Understand its benefits

Locust Pose stretches and strengthens the back and core muscles, allowing you to move more freely in your spine region. This pose aslo help to opens the chest, which can help improve your posture and prevent bending down results of more freely breathe, which can be energizing (35). 

Precautions and Safety while Performing

This pose is not recommended if you are pregnant, have a back, neck, or shoulder injury, or have recently had abdominal surgery.

Remember not to force your body into the pose in order to achieve a deeper backbend. If you experience any discomfort during the pose, such as in your back, neck, or shoulders, release the posture until you are comfortable.

27) Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Half Lord of the Fishes Pose (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

Ardha Matsyendrasana (Seated Twist Pose/Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) is a deep twist that is both strengthening and rejuvenating (35).

Type of Pose – Twist

Prime Area – Side, upper back, and neck

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with your legs stretched out in front of you.
  2. Place your right foot on the outside of your left knee and lift your right leg. Bend your left leg and place it on the outside of your right hip.
  3. Inhale deeply and lengthen your spine by pressing your sitting bones down. Extend your left arm up and place your right arm behind you.
  4. Twist your body to the right as you exhale, hugging your knee with your left arm or hooking your elbow behind your left knee.
  5. Continue to lengthen your spine on the in-breath and twist from your belly on the out-breath.
  6. By moving in and out with barely noticeable pulses, you can find ease and your appropriate edge in that pose. Allow your hips to follow the spine’s movement to some extent.
  7. Hold your breath for 5 to 8 seconds.
  8. To exit the pose, exhale and come out of the twist, then return to a seated position.
  9. Reverse the process on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

Half Lord of the Fishes is beneficial for stretching your outer hips and thighs, opening your shoulders and chest, strengthening your upper back, lengthening your spine, and stretching the front of your thighs. It can also be used to stimulate digestion.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have back problems, have recently had surgery, or are pregnant, you should avoid this pose. It may be uncomfortable to perform during menstruation as well.

28) Lord of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana)

Lord of the Dance Pose (Natarajasana)

The lord of the dance posture is a tribute to the powerful god of destruction, King Nataraja, who is a physical manifestation of Lord Shiva. Natrajasana is also known as the dance posture (36).

Type of Pose – Standing, backbend, balance, chest opener

Prime Area – Core

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Start with a mountain pose. Shift your weight to your left leg and bend your right knee so your right hand reaches back for your right leg. Maintain your right knee perpendicular to the ground.
  2. Holding the outside of the leg is more difficult, but it provides a deeper stretch to your shoulders and encourages you to lift your chest higher.
  3. Optional: Kick your right foot in your right hand while lifting your leg up and back. The more actively you use your right foot, the easier it will be to stay balanced.
  4. Reach your left hand forward and upward, towards the sky.
  5. Press evenly across the four corners of your left foot, focusing on your big toe. Pull the knee cap up to connect with the quadriceps muscle in your left leg.
  6. Hold your breath for up to 10 cycles. To exit the pose, slowly let go of your right foot, repositioning it on the floor and standing back. Take a few deep breaths before repeating on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

This Asana strengthens the ankle and leg while stretching the Abdomen, Thorax, and Inguinal region. Regular practice will aid in the development of mental strength and concentration. Natrajasana (Dance Pose) also increases flexibility in your spine, shoulders, and hamstrings (36).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have an ankle or back injury, or if you have dizziness or balance issues, avoid this pose. Protect your supporting knee by not locking it or hyperextending it (bending it too far backward).

29) Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Utkatasana, a combination of the words “utkata” (meaning “powerful” or “fierce”) and “asana” (meaning “pose”), is an important part of the Sun Salutations and is frequently used as a transitional pose. It can also be performed on its own to increase strength and stamina throughout the body (36).

Type of Pose – Standing

Prime Area – Lower Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. In the Tadasana position, place your feet together. Inhale and raise your arms overhead, bringing your biceps just in front of your ears. Maintain parallel arms with palms facing inward or join the palms.
  2. Exhale and bend your knees until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Your knees will protrude over your feet, and your trunk will lean slightly forward over your thighs, forming a right angle with the tops of your thighs.
  3. Maintain parallel inner thighs and press the heads of the thigh bones down toward your heels.
  4. Firmly press your shoulder blades into your back. To keep your lower back long, direct your tailbone down toward the floor and in toward your pubis.
  5. Stay for at least 30 seconds and no more than a minute. To exit this pose, inhale and straighten your knees while lifting your arms strongly. 
  6. Exhale and come into Tadasana by bringing your arms to your sides.

Understand its benefits

Chair Pose promotes cardiovascular health and sustainability while improving balance. It primarily works to strengthen your core, thighs, and ankles (36).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have chronic knee pain, arthritis, a sprained ankle, any knee problem or damaged ligaments, a headache, or insomnia, you should not practice this yoga posture.

Take extra precautions and move slowly through this yoga posture if you are menstruating or have lower back pain.

30) Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

Warrior I Pose (Virabhadrasana I)

Vira means “vigorous,” “warrior,” or “courageous,” while Bhadra means “good” or “auspicious” Posture (Asana).

Virabhadra, a fierce warrior and an incarnation of Lord Shiva, inspired the name of this pose. The storey of the warrior Virabhadra, like all Upanishad stories, has a moral that adds value to our lives. This is one of the most graceful asanas in yoga, and it adds a lot of elegance to the workout.

Type of Pose – Standing

Prime Area – Arms, Legs, and Shoulders

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin by standing in Tadasana (mountain pose). Step your left foot back about 3 1/2 feet. Make a 45-degree turn to the left with your left foot.
  2. Turn your hips so that they are both facing the front of your mat. Apply even pressure to the center of your front heel and the outside edge of your back foot.
  3. Inhale deeply and extend your arms toward the sky, palms facing each other. Draw your shoulders down using your fingertips.
  4. Exhale and bend your right knee so that your thigh is parallel to the ground. Make sure that your right knee does not extend past your right toes.
  5. Engage your abdominal muscles and draw your tailbone down toward your pelvis. Continue to press through the outer edge of your left foot and lift your ribcage away from your hips.
  6. Take a few deep breaths while holding the Warrior-I pose. Exhale and step your feet together, releasing your arms as you inhale and straighten your right leg. 
  7. Reverse the process on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

Warrior I can be a very effective way to improve concentration, balance, and focus. It builds strength in all aspects of life, including physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Regularly practicing this pose will help you face the challenges of daily life with calm and self-confidence (37).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have balance issues or a hip, knee, back, or shoulder injury, avoid this pose. 

If you have a neck problem, instead of tilting your head back, keep your neck in a neutral position. 

If you have shoulder problems, instead of bringing your arms together over your head, raise them to parallel or keep your hands on your knees or hips.

31) Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Warrior II Pose (Virabhadrasana II)

Virabhadrasana II (Warrior II Pose), named after a fierce symbolic representation of the Hindu god Shiva, challenges both beginner and advanced yogis. The second of three Virabhadra-inspired poses is Warrior II.

Type of Pose – Standing

Prime Area – Hips

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Face your mat’s long side. Your arms are stretched out to the sides, and your feet are parallel to each other in a wide stance so that your feet are roughly beneath your hands.
  2. Turn your right foot and knee so that they are facing the front of the mat.
  3. Turn your left toes toward your right foot just a little. Align your right heel with your inner left arch. Your right knee should be bent and stacked over your right ankle.
  4. While releasing your tailbone, press your left thigh bone back. Maintain a stacked crown of the head over your pelvis and shoulders over your hips.
  5. Reach for the front and back of the mat with both arms, then turn and look past your right fingertips.
  6. Take 5–10 deep breaths and hold them for 5–10 seconds.
  7. To exit, exhale and press down through your feet, then inhale and straighten your legs, returning your feet to parallel facing the mat’s left long side.
  8. Reverse the process on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

Warrior II Pose benefits include strengthening and stretching your legs, ankles and feet, hips, groins, and shoulders.

It also aids in the development of stamina and concentration, as well as the relief of backaches, particularly during the second trimester. This pose is beneficial for flat feet, sciatica, osteoporosis, carpal tunnel syndrome, and infertility (35, 37).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have recently injured your hip, knee, or shoulder, or if you have diarrhoea or high blood pressure, do not practise Warrior II. 

Those who have suffered a neck injury should not turn their heads to face the front hand.

32) Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior III Pose (Virabhadrasana III)

Warrior III is a yoga pose that adds a balance challenge to the standing Warrior sequence. You will balance on one leg while keeping your torso, arms, and other leg parallel to the ground.

Type of Pose – Standing

Prime Area – Full Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in Warrior I, a lunge with your right foot forward, knee bent 90 degrees with the foot over the heel, and back leg extended. Place your hands on your hips.
  2. Lean forward and place your weight on your right (forward) foot. Maintain a bent left (rear) knee as you float your left foot up about a foot away from the floor.
  3. Continue to bring your torso parallel to the floor by straightening your right leg. To balance your left leg lifting and extending straight back, use your torso moving forward. Both the torso and the left leg will eventually come parallel to the floor at roughly the same time. Maintain a relaxed neck, as if it were a natural extension of the spine. Your gaze is fixed on the ground.
  4. Extend the left (upper) leg completely. Maintain a level posture with both hips pointing toward the floor. Keep pointing the left hip toward the floor if it wants to cock up. You can feel this by placing your hands on your hips.
  5. Keep the left (upper) foot flexed and the toes pointing down at the floor. Engage the muscles in your left leg actively.
  6. When you’re finished, bring your arms back along your sides.
  7. Step back to Warrior I by bending your right leg.
  8. Reverse the process on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

It’s an energising pose that can help you improve not only your lower body and core strength, but also your mental focus. The muscles in your back and abs are also used to support and stabilise the pose (37).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have high blood pressure or heart problems, you should avoid this pose. Always work within your own capabilities and limitations.

33) Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Half Moon Pose (Ardha Chandrasana)

Ardha Chandrasana, also known as Half Moon Pose, is a standing asana used for exercise in modern yoga. Ardha means half and Chandra means moon or luminance in Sanskrit. Half Moon gets its name from this graceful standing balancing pose that resembles a half moon.

Type of Pose – Standing

Prime Area – Balance, core strength, and hamstrings

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Maintain a yoga block in the front right-hand corner of your mat.
  2. Begin in Warrior 2 with your right foot in front of your mat and your front knee in line with your toes.
  3. Place your left hand on your hip and use your right arm to reach out and then down, placing your fingertips in front of your right toes.
  4. Step your back foot forward slightly and shift your weight to your right leg.
  5. Begin to extend the standing leg as the left leg floats up in line with the hips as you press your right foot down.
  6. Place your right hand on your block directly beneath your shoulder, towards the little toe side of your right foot.
  7. Bring your left leg forward rather than backward to find stability in this pose, as it will tend to float in the space behind you.
  8. While keeping your right leg strong, engage your left leg by pressing through the ball of your foot.
  9. Lengthen through the side waists as you move the right sitting bone back.
  10. As you rotate your chest, extend your left arm up towards the ceiling.
  11. Continue to look at the floor, the side, or even the ceiling.
  12. Stay for 5 breaths or more, with your core and legs engaged.
  13. To exit the pose, turn to face the floor, lower your raised leg, and exit through Warrior 2. 
  14. Reverse the process on the opposite side.

Understand its benefits

It strengthens the abdomen, buttocks, and spine while also expanding the chest and shoulders. It aids digestion, relieves anxiety and depression, helps to improve balance and coordination, and calms the mind (38).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have an injury to your legs, hips, shoulders, or back, you should avoid this pose.

People with knee or ankle problems should avoid the full stretch.

34) Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

The Sanskrit word uttanasana consists of the words “ut,” which means “intense,” “powerful,” or “deliberate,” and “tan,” which means “stretch” or “lengthen” (39).

Type of Pose – Standing and forwardbend

Prime Area – Hip joint, legs, and spine

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose), with your hands at your hips, at the front of the mat.
  2. Hinge from the hips, not the lower back, by bending your knees slightly and folding your torso over your legs.
  3. Your hands may land next to your feet or in front of you on the ground.
  4. To lengthen your spine, inhale and extend your chest.
  5. Exhale and gently straighten both legs without hyperextending them. Raise your kneecaps and spiral your inner thighs backwards in a gentle spiral.
  6. On an exhalation, extend your torso down without rounding your back. 
  7. Draw your shoulders down your back toward your hips while lengthening your neck and extending the crown of your head toward the ground.

Understand its benefits

This pose stretches the backs of the legs, hips, and spine, as well as the knees. It also helps to calm the mind, balance the nervous system, improve digestion, and stimulate the liver and kidneys. When performed with bent knees, it can even relieve tension in the lower back.

Precautions and Safety while Performing

People who have had a back injury, osteoporosis, or both should proceed with caution and sequentially.

People with high blood pressure (hypertension) should ease into this pose and only stay in it if their breathing does not become strained. People who have low blood pressure (hypotension) should slowly exit this pose to avoid becoming dizzy (39).

35) Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

Extended Side Angle Pose (Utthita Parsvakonasana)

‘Utthita’ means’stretched,’ ‘Parsva’ means ‘side,’ ‘kona’ means ‘angle,’ and ‘asana’ means ‘posture’ in Sanskrit. Utthita Parsvakonasana refers to ‘Body extended on the side with the legs at an angle to the side body (39).

Type of Pose – Standing Balance

Prime Area – Lower Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Your legs should be about 4 feet apart when you jump. Extend your arms in a T shape, palms down, and reach out through your fingertips as if your arms were being pulled in opposite directions.
  2. Make a 90-degree turn with your left foot and a slight inward turn with your right foot. Lift through your spine, keeping your torso long on both sides.
  3. As you bend your left knee to a 90-degree angle with your left thigh parallel to the floor, press your right outer foot and heel to the floor. To build a solid foundation, change your stance.
  4. Bring your left arm toward the floor by leaning toward your left knee and hinging at the hips. Your left fingertips can be placed on the ground or on a block. So that your arm and shin are parallel, move your left armpit close to the outer left knee.
  5. Raise your right arm, palm facing the floor, over your right ear. To create a straight line from your right ankle to you, turn your chest toward your raised arm and press your right hip toward the floor.
  6. Shift your gaze away from your right thumb. In the pose, take a deep breath. 30 to 60 seconds is a good length of time to stay.
  7. Inhale and reach up, straightening your left leg and bringing your torso up. Change sides.

Understand its benefits

The Extended Side Angle Pose helps with balance, energy, and fatigue. It can help build confidence and a sense of empowerment by improving posture and counteracting the effects of prolonged sitting and computer work (39).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a recent or chronic injury to your hips, knees, neck, or shoulders, avoid this pose.

36) Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

Revolved Side Angle Pose (Parivrtta Parsvakonasana)

The Sanskrit name for this pose is “Parivrtta Parsvakonasana,” which is made up of four words: “Parivrtta” — which means “revolved,” “Parsva” — which means “side” or “flank,” “Kona” — which means “angle,” and “Asana” — which means “pose.” It’s also known as “Twisting Side Angle,” “Rotated Side Angle,” “Side Angle Twist,” and other English terms (39).

Type of Pose – Twist

Prime Area – Upper Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in mountain pose, then spread your legs for 3-4 feet apart.
  2. Maintaining a straight spine, turn the right foot outwards to 90 degrees.
  3. Form a prayer pose by bringing your hands together.
  4. Keep your right thigh parallel to the ground by bending your right knee.
  5. Begin gently twisting your upper body to the right, dropping your left elbow over your right knee at the same time.
  6. Look up to the ceiling and twist a little.
  7. Hold the position for a couple of breaths, then exhale and return to the centre.
  8. Exhale as you lower your hands and bring your feet closer together.
  9. With the left foot, repeat the same steps.
  10. Then, in mountain pose, release and relax.

Understand its benefits

Revolved Side Angle can help with digestion and constipation by massaging and stimulating your abdominal organs. It can also help with sciatica and low back pain. Legs, knees, ankles, groin, spine, chest, and shoulders are all strengthened and stretched in this pose (39).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a neck, back, or shoulder injury, avoid this pose. It may not be suitable for people with high or low blood pressure, or pregnant women, because it requires balance. Also, if you have diarrhoea, avoid this pose.

37) Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)

Revolved Triangle Pose (Parivrtta Trikonasana)

The Sanskrit name for the pose is derived from the words “Parivrtta” which means “revolved,” “Trikona” which means “three angles of the triangle,” and “Asana” which means “pose” (39). While Triangle is one of the easier poses, its evolution, Revolved Triangle, is deceptively difficult.

Type of Pose – Twist

Prime Area – Full Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Stand in Tadasana (mountain pose). Take a step back with your left foot, about 3-4 feet. Then, turn your left foot out to the left at a 45-degree angle. Align your left and right heels together.
  2. Inhale and raise your arms parallel to the floor, lengthening your spine to increase torso space. Using your fingertips, reach up and in with your abdominals.
  3. Exhale and rotate your torso to the right, bringing your hips into line with the front of your mat. Turn your torso to the right after grounding the outer edge and heel of your left foot.
  4. Hinge forward at the hips and lower your torso over your front leg, reaching your left hand down to the floor. Extend your right hand to the sky while placing your left hand on the floor outside of your right foot.
  5. Look at your right palm. Take five deep breaths in and out of this pose. Inhale and rise to your feet to release. 
  6. Step your feet together and then repeat on the other side.

Understand its benefits

The Revolved Triangle strengthens and stretches the legs, opens the chest for better breathing, helps to relieve mild back pain, and improves balance (39).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have any back or shoulder problems, proceed with caution.

38) Intense Side Stretch Pose/Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)

Intense Side Stretch Pose/Pyramid Pose (Parsvottanasana)

Parsvottanasana is a Sanskrit word that combines four words: “Parsva” — which means “side” or “flank,” “Ut” — which means “intense,” “Tan” — which means “to stretch,” and “Asana,” which means “pose” (39).

Type of Pose – Fowardbend

Prime Area – Lower Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. At the top of the mat, start in Tadasana (Mountain Pose). Make sure your hips are squared by placing your hands on them.
  2. Step back 2 to 4 feet with your right foot. Line up your back foot at a 30-to 45-degree angle with your heel to heel.
  3. By pressing down with your right big toe mound while drawing your left hip back and in toward your right heel, you can keep your hips facing forward and both sides of your waist elongated.
  4. Spread your arms out to the sides as you inhale. Internally rotate your arms, bend your elbows, and clasp your palms behind your back on an exhalation. Release your hands alongside your feet, on blocks, or on your shin if this isn’t possible.
  5. Inhale and engage your quadriceps while lengthening your spine.
  6. Exhale and begin to fold forward and toward your front thigh, hinged at the hips. To maintain openness in your front body and length in your back body, reach your sternum away from your navel and keep your collar bones broad. Allow your brow to fall toward your shin.
  7. As you stay in the pose, draw the heads of your upper arms back and up away from the floor.
  8. Exit the pose by inhaling and rising with the strength of your legs. Return to Mountain Pose by releasing your arms and stepping your feet together.

Understand its benefits

The spine, shoulders, wrists, hips, and hamstrings all get a good stretch in Pyramid Pose. It also improves posture by strengthening the legs (39).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a hamstring injury, avoid doing this pose. Do not practice the full features of the pose if you have a shoulder or wrist injury. Instead, practice with your arms outstretched and your hands on blocks or the floor. Practice the pose against a wall if you’re pregnant, have a back injury, or have high blood pressure.

39) Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Wide-Legged Forward Bend (Prasarita Padottanasana)

Prasarita Padottanasana is a half-inverted yoga pose. It’s a standing forward bending yoga pose that’s usually done at the end of the standing poses and right after Sun Salutation, which are the foundational positions in Ashtanga Yoga.

Type of Pose – Foward bend

Prime Area – Lower Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Begin in Mountain Pose, facing the long side of your mat.
  2. With your hands on your hips, step your feet 3 to 4 feet apart.
  3. Fold slowly over your legs after standing tall through your entire torso. Instead of rounding your lower back, bend from your hip joints. Stop folding forward if your back starts to round.
  4. Begin by stretching your torso forward with your hands flat on the floor, shoulder-width apart.
  5. Deepen your folds by lowering your head to the floor. Firm your leg muscles and activate your inner thigh muscles by anchoring your feet. From your sitting bones to the crown of your head, lengthen your entire spine.
  6. For grounding into your feet, straighten your arms, and lengthen your spine forward after a few breaths.
  7. Inhale as you slowly rise to your feet. Step your feet together and then pause in Mountain Pose at the front of the mat.

Understand its benefits

The legs and spine are strengthened and stretched in this calming pose. It can also help relieve mild backaches by soothing the abdominal organs (39).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have a recent or chronic leg, hip, back, or shoulder injury, don’t do it.

40) Lotus Pose (Padmasana)

Lotus Pose (Padmasana)

Padmasana (Lotus Pose) is a grounding and energizing pose with significant symbolism. A lotus is a flower that grows from the mud and blooms into a beautiful flower.

Type of Pose – Seated

Prime Area – Hips

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs extended. Bend your right knee out to the side and cradle it in your hands, along with your foot. Rotate your leg from the hip (rather than the knee) and place your foot in the crease of your left hip.
  2. Bend your left knee and rotate your thigh outward from the hip, as you did with your right. Raise your leg slightly and cross your left foot over your right, tucking it into the right hip crease.
  3. Set your toes against your upper thighs and lower your knees to the floor. Make sure your ankles don’t sickle.
  4. Raise your sternum and lengthen your spine by sitting tall. Sitting on a folded blanket may assist in preventing the spine from rounding.
  5. Take a few slow, deep breaths and hold the pose for as long as you feel comfortable.

Understand its benefits

Lotus Pose establishes a strong foundation for meditation. The relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system) is activated when you settle into the pose, while the stress response is deactivated (sympathetic nervous system). Lotus Pose may help lower or regulate blood pressure. This pose also help to  stretch the front of hip thighs (quadriceps), groins, and the ankles, as well as open the hip joints (40).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you feel any knee pain, avoid this pose.

41) Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend (Upavistha Konasana)

Upavistha Konasana, also known as the Seated Wide Angle Pose, is a Hatha yoga asana that requires you to sit on your buttocks. The term is derived from the Sanskrit words upavistha, which means “sitting,” kona, which means “angle,” and asana, which means “pose” or “posture.”

Type of Pose – Forward bend

Prime Area – Lower Body

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. To begin, sit up straight with your legs open at a 90-degree angle with your pelvis.
  2. Now, flex your feet and align your knees while keeping your toes pointing up.
  3. You should feel a curve in your lower back at this point (for the curve, use a prop; place a firm cushion under your pelvis). The cushion provides more stability for your pelvis to tilt forward).
  4.  Then, keep your palms behind your hips on the ground.
  5. Take a long, deep breath that lifts the sides of your body and creates space in your spine.
  6. If you feel a good stretch in your legs at that point, hold on for a few seconds.
  7. Then, while squeezing in your stomach and breathing out, fold your legs.
  8. Place your hands in front of you slowly. Stretch as much as you can and stop if you feel uneasy. Hold the pose for 30 to 60 seconds, breathing deeply and slowly.
  9. 9.      Exhale slowly and return to your original position.

Understand its benefits

The Wide-Angled Seated Forward Bend stretches the back, thighs, and calves while lengthening the hamstrings. It can help you relax and feel less anxious. It aids in the treatment of arthritis and sciatica, as well as detoxifying the kidneys (41).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have hamstring or groin problems, you should not perform. Avoid doing this if you have a lower back injury or if you are pregnant.

If you have lower back pain while doing this pose, sit on a folded blanket.

Stretch your legs far as much as you can.

Pranayam (Breath Control Exercise)

The term “pranayama” is derived from the Sanskrit words “prana” and “Ayama.” Whereas “prana” refers to energy, “Ayama” refers to elongation. As a result, the word meaning of pranayama is an extension of pranic energy (34, 41, 42).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Slowly and deeply exhale without closing your nostrils, but be prepared to do so.
  2. Close the right nostril and inhale slowly and quietly through the left nostril.
  3. Close both nostrils at the end of the inhalation. Take a deep breath and hold it for no longer than 1-2 seconds.
  4. Exhale quietly through the right nostril while keeping the left nostril closed.
  5. After fully exhaling, inhale slowly and quietly through the right nostril.
  6. Close both nostrils and hold them closed for a second, then open the left nostril and exhale slowly and quietly.
  7. Continue to breathe in through the same nostril.

Understand its benefits

Pranayama is a set of techniques for controlling breathing by adjusting the rhythm, rate, phase duration, and depth of breath, as well as consciously controlling nostril use with awareness and sharpness. Breathing pattern reflects mental status (anxious vs. calm), and it is thought that conscious regulation is key to achieving mind/mental status control (42, 43).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

  • Cardiac patients should not practise for longer than the recommended time.
  • It’s best to do it in a quiet, pollution-free environment.
  • Pranayama should always be performed on an empty stomach.
  • Practicing after a bath improves blood circulation even more.
  • Only breathe through your nose, not your mouth.

42) Nadi Sodhana Pranayam (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Nadi Sodhana Pranayam (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Nadi Sodhana words – Nadi means subtle energy channel; Shodhan means cleaning or purification; Pranayama means breathing technique (44).

This is also recognized as Alternate Nostril Breathing. Anulom Vilom pranayama progresses to the next level. Nadis are the subtle energy channels in our bodies that tend to become blocked as a result of poor lifestyle choices, stress, and physical trauma (41, 44).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Make sure your spine is straight and your heart is open by sitting in a comfortable and tall chair.
  2. Bring your right hand just in front of your face and relax your left palm into your lap.
  3. Bring your pointer and middle fingers to rest between your brows with your right hand, lightly using them as an anchor. The thumb and ring fingers will be the ones we’ll be using the most.
  4. Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
  5. With your right thumb, close your right nostril. Slowly and steadily inhale through the left nostril.
  6. Close the left nostril with your ring finger so that both nostrils are closed; hold your breath for a brief pause at the top of the inhale.
  7. Open your right nostril and slowly exhale through your right side, pausing briefly at the bottom of the exhalation.
  8. Slowly inhale from the right side.
  9. Keep both nostrils shut (with your ring finger and thumb).
  10. Breathe in slowly through the left nostril and out slowly through the right. At the bottom, take a brief pause.
  11. Allow your mind to follow your inhalation and exhalation for more than 10 cycles.

Understand its benefits

Shodhan refers to the process of cleaning and unblocking the nadis. This asana aids in the release of tensions and stress, as well as contributes to a calmer mind (41).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

As long as you can hold your breath, you are capable. People with severe Asthama and heart problems should not hold their breath too long.

43) Shitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

Shitali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

Sheetali means ‘cooling’ in Sanskrit, as well as calm and passionless. Shitali Pranayama is a simple breath that is ideal for a hot day or when the body is warm from yoga (46).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Sit in any position that is most comfortable for you.
  2. In the Gyan Mudra, place your hands on your knees.
  3. Close your eyes and roll your tongue into a tube shape.
  4. Maximum inhalation through the tongue
  5. Take the tongue and place it inside the mouth before closing it.
  6. Slowly exhale through the nostrils, keeping the smelling area in mind.
  7. Rep the procedure for a total of four times.

Understand its benefits

Sheetali pranayama also cool the body and mind (45). People with high blood pressure will benefit from this pranayama. It aids in the treatment of gulma (chronic dyspepsia), spleen, and other related diseases, promotes digestion, and aids in hunger and thirst control (43, 45).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

People with low blood pressure, asthma, a cold, or a cough should avoid this breathing technique. This pranayama should also be avoided in the winter.

44) Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath)

Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath)

“Ujjayi Pranayama” is a Sanskrit word that means “victory” or “victorious person.” As a result, the Ujjayi breath means “victorious breath.” The “ocean-like sound” is created by moving the glottis as air passes in and out during inhalation (breath in or Poorak) (43).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Sit in any meditative pose with your eyes closed, such as Padmasana (Lotus pose), and try to keep your spine straight.
  2. Slowly take a long, deep breath through both nostrils (inhale or breath in).
  3. Attempt to contract your throat and feel the touch of air in your throat while breathing.
  4. One thing to keep in mind is that air should not come into contact with the inside of the nose.
  5. When air comes into contact with the throat, a strange sound is produced.
  6. As you inhale and exhale, allow the breath to be light and relaxed by slightly contracting the back of your throat and making a gentle hissing sound. The sound isn’t forced; however, it should be loud enough to be heard if someone approached you.
  7. Exhale through your left nostril while breathing out through your right nostril. While exhaling, try to make the sound ‘HHHHHAAAA’.

Understand its benefits

Ujjayi breath is unique in that it both calms the sympathetic nervous system and increases oxygen consumption. Because it is powerful enough to support a vigorous flow, it is the primary breath used in Vinyasa yoga (46).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

This breathing pattern may be difficult if you have breathing problems or a condition like asthma. Make sure you’re getting enough oxygen and stop if you start to feel dizzy or lightheaded. During this exercise, you should not experience any discomfort.

45) Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)

Kapalabhati Pranayama (Skull Shining Breath)

Kapalbhati Pranayama is derived from the Sanskrit words kapal, which means “skull,” and bhati, which means “to shine.” This is a more advanced breathing exercise that should be trained by an educator because if done incorrectly, it can cause lightheadedness. This breath, once mastered, generates heat and clears the nasal passages (46).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Sit upright in a comfortable position with your hands on your lower belly. Make sure both feet are on the ground if you’re sitting in a chair.
  2. Before you begin, take a deep, cleansing breath in through your nose and out through your mouth.
  3. Inhale deeply through your nose, nearly filling your belly with air.
  4. Forcefully expel all of the air from your lungs while drawing your navel in toward your spine in a quick motion. Your diaphragm is the primary source of movement.
  5. Allow your lungs to naturally fill up as your belly expands, without exerting any effort.
  6. Repeat this cycle 10 times, then allow your breathing to return to normal and pay attention to your body’s sensations.
  7. Repeat the ten-movement cycles three to four times more.

Understand its benefits

This asana is a breathing technique that aids in the proper functioning of the respiratory system (41). Kapalabhati breathing is beneficial for detoxifying the lungs and respiratory system. This technique also strengthens and tones the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. Even the release of toxins results in improved digestion by increasing oxygen to cells and purifying the blood.  It energizes and relaxes the mind, but also warms the body and puts more emphasis on attention (43).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you’re pregnant, or if you have high blood pressure, acid reflux, heart disease, or abdominal pain, don’t do Kapalabhati. If you feel dizzy or anxious, you should also stop or slow down.

46) Bhastrika Pranayama (The Yogic Breath of Fire)

Bhastrika Pranayama (The Yogic Breath of Fire)

The breath of fire is the name given to this yoga breathing paranayam. Both inhalation and exhalation are forced in this asana (41).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Place yourself in vajrasana or sukhasana (cross-legged position). (Because your spine is erect and your diaphragmatic movement is better in vajrasana, pranayama can be more effective.)
  2. Make a fist with your hands and fold your arms near your shoulders.
  3. Deeply inhale, straighten your arms, and open your fists.
  4. Exhale slowly and forcefully, bringing your arms down to your shoulders and fists closed.
  5. Continue for a total of 20 breaths.
  6. Place your palms on your thighs and relax.
  7. Take a few deep breaths normally.
  8. Repeat for a total of two more rounds.

Understand its benefits

Exhaling and inhaling are part of Bharastika to ensure that our bodies get enough oxygen. This asana strengthens the lungs, relieves allergies, asthma, and respiratory diseases, boosts the immune system, and alleviates the common cold (41).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

This breathing exercise should not be attempted by people who have high blood pressure or acute heart problems. Bhastrika Pranayama should be avoided if you have high blood pressure because it produces heat in your body (43).

47) Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breath)

Bhramari Pranayama (Humming Bee Breath)

Bhramari is a sanskrit word derived from the black Indian bumble bee “Bhramar.” It describes the distinctive humming sound made during this breathing exercise when exhaling (47). 

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. To practice Bhramari breathing, sit in a comfortable position on the floor, in a chair, or on your bed.
  2. Sit cross-legged or kneeled with a cushion or blanket for support, whichever is most comfortable for you.
  3. Close your eyes and take a deep breath.
  4. While stretching your spine and keeping your back straight, take in the scenery around you.
  5. By gently pressing your thumb on the cartilage of your ears just below your cheekbones, you can block out any external sound.
  6. With your index and middle fingers, gently close your eyes.
  7. Inhale deeply through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth, keeping your ears closed.
  8. When you exhale, make a humming or buzzing sound.
  9. Breathe normally for at least six cycles, or as long as you want.
  10. After you’ve completed Bhramari breathing, sit in silence for a few moments and breathe normally.

Understand its benefits

Bhramari Pranayama is beneficial after neurosurgery because it reduces anxiety, stress, aggression, insomnia, and depression. This breathing technique is extremely beneficial for improving one’s mood and relieving anxiety and depression. This works miracles for people who have thyroid issues. It gives a pleasant feeling by releasing heat from the body through perspiration (47).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

Avoid putting pressure on your face or eyes when practising Bhramari. Make sure you don’t get out of breath while humming.

If you’re expecting a child, stay away from this breathing exercise.

48) Simhasana (Lions Breath)

Simhasana (Lions Breath)

Simhasana is a powerful seated asana with a forceful exhalation and a powerful breathing technique. The name is derived from the Sanskrit words simha, which means “lion,” and asana, which means “pose.” The fierce lion-like expression on the yogi’s face, as well as the roaring sound of the breath made while in this posture, inspired this name (48).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Take a seat in your preferred position.
  2. Place your hands on the floor or on your knees. If you’re on the floor, point your fingertips inwards. Like a lion’s claws, spread your fingertips wide.
  3. Lean your upper body forward just a little.
  4. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose.
  5. Curl your tongue down toward your chin by opening your mouth wide and sticking it out as much as you can.
  6. With a “ha” sound, forcefully exhale, feeling the breath come from deep within and pass across your entire tongue. Exhale with your tongue out the entire time, and don’t be afraid to be loud.
  7. Before doing another lion’s breath, relax your face and take a few normal breaths.
  8. Repeat four to six times more until you’ve completed four to six lion’s breaths. Switch the crossing of your feet halfway through lion’s pose if you’re sitting in it.
  9. After you’ve completed your repetitions, take three minutes to breathe deeply in and out through your nose before moving on.

Understand its benefits

Simhasana is beneficial to the tongue, face, oesophagus, eyes, vocal chords, mucous membranes, abdomen, chest, diaphragm, fingers, and palms. Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha, and Uddiyana Bandha are also activated, and many diseases are eradicated (43). The tension in your face is relieved by lion’s breath, which also aids in the release of steam. It can be done at any point during a yoga session (46).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

You can do this pose while sitting in a chair if you have knee pain or injury.

49) Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath)

Sheetkari Pranayama (Hissing Breath)

Sheetkari is composed of 2 words:’shee,’ which refers to the sound of shee, and ‘kari,’ which loosely translates as ‘which produced.’ This pranayama involves the production of a hissing sound that sounds like clenched teeth, as implied by the derivation (43).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. Sit in any meditative pose that feels comfortable for you.
  2. Keep your eyes closed and try to lift your tongue.
  3. Make a connection between the upper and lower rows of teeth.
  4. Now open your lips and inhale while making the See-See sound.
  5. Close your lips after inhaling and exhale through your nose.
  6. Repeat this process at least eight to ten times more.

Understand its benefits

It’s ideal for people who are frequently tired or drained of energy. It also aids in the purification of the blood, resulting in improved health and immunity, as well as the improvement of a person’s memory.

It calms and soothes mental and emotional uneasiness, stimulates muscular relaxation, improves clarity of thought, and gives a sense of fulfillment (49).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

Sheetkari and Shitali pranayama should not be practised by people who have a cold or cough, Asthama, or other respiratory problems, such as tonsillitis. This pranayama is not recommended for people who have low blood pressure.

50) Plavini Pranayama (The Floating Breath)

Plavini Pranayama (The Floating Breath)

The Sanskrit word ‘Plavini’ derives from the root word ‘Plu,’ which means ‘to cause to float or swim.’ Breath (air) becomes the cause of floatation when Pranayama is added, and this is known as plavini pranayama (50).

Step-by-step instructions on how to do pose.

  1. This pranayama, unlike all others, is best performed in Savasana, or the asana that resembles a dead body.
  2. Place your hands on your sides and lie down on the mat.
  3. Try to relax at the top of your breath without putting any pressure on your heart.
  4. For a few seconds, practice peaceful inhalation and exhalation.
  5. Relax and listen for a signal from the naval chakra after you’ve exhaled. Inhale when you get the signal.
  6. For as long as you can, try to hold on to the air.
  7. Leave a little air in your lungs as you exhale, as this will help to extend the time for relaxation.

Understand its benefits

Plavini pranayama expands the chest and stretches the lungs, giving the yogi the ability to float in water for hours. This practise is also thought to promote the removal of impurities by increasing blood circulation (50).

Precautions and Safety while Performing

If you have heart problems, hypertension, or respiratory problems, you should avoid doing plavini.

Avoid doing it if you have a hernia or a hydrocele because it can put pressure on it.

References and Further Reading

  1. Prasad, R. L. (1959). An evaluation of the yoga system of physical education. The University of Utah.
  2. Brisbon, N. M., & Lowery, G. A. (2011). Mindfulness and levels of stress: a comparison of beginner and advanced hatha yoga practitioners. Journal of religion and health, 50(4), 931-941.
  3. Shelov, D. V., Suchday, S., & Friedberg, J. P. (2009). A pilot study measuring the impact of yoga on the trait of mindfulness. Behavioural and cognitive psychotherapy, 37(5), 595-598.
  4. Hartfiel, N., Havenhand, J., Khalsa, S. B., Clarke, G., & Krayer, A. (2011). The effectiveness of yoga for the improvement of well-being and resilience to stress in the workplace. Scandinavian journal of work, environment & health, 70-76.
  5. Cowen, V. S. (2010). Functional fitness improvements after a worksite-based yoga initiative. Journal of bodywork and movement therapies, 14(1), 50-54.
  6. Hayes, M., & Chase, S. (2010). Prescribing yoga. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice, 37(1), 31-47.
  7. Kaminoff, L., Matthews, A., & Ellis, S. (2007). Yoga anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  8. Raj, V. A. (1995). The Hindu collection: roots of the New Age. CPH.
  9. Gokal, R., Shillito, L., & Maharaj, S. R. (2007). Positive impact of yoga and pranayam on obesity, hypertension, blood sugar, and cholesterol: a pilot assessment. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 13(10), 1056-1058.
  10. Jabir, P. K. (2018). Effect Of Balasana On Pulmonary Function Tests Among Healthy Medical Students. significance, 1, 25-75.
  11. Nayak, N. N., & Shankar, K. (2004). Yoga: a therapeutic approach. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics, 15(4), 783-798.
  12. Somlata Jadoun, D., Rana, A., & Yadav, S. K. (2020). An Anatomical Exploration of “Dhanurasana”.
  13. Coulter, A. H. (1998). Yoga and cancer: a move toward relaxation. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 4(3), 150-155.
  14. Wingate, L. (2016). Introduction to office yoga.
  15. Shroff, F. M., & Asgarpour, M. (2017). Yoga and mental health: A review. Physiother Rehabil, 2(132), 2573-0312.
  16. Bernotienė, G., Razon, S., Daunoravičienė, A., Vainoras, A., & Slapšinskaitė, A. (2019). Heart rate variability changes in the integrated yoga program: results and implications. Baltic Journal of Sport and Health Sciences, 4(115).
  17. Weiche, I. Animals in Yoga.
  18.  Ni, M., Mooney, K., Harriell, K., Balachandran, A., & Signorile, J. (2014). Core muscle function during specific yoga poses. Complementary therapies in medicine, 22(2), 235-243.
  19. Sangeeta, R. S., & Prasad, R. Management of Respiratory System Disorders through Yoga.
  20. Dudeja, J. P. (2019). Benefits of Tadasana, Zhan Zhuang and other standing meditation techniques. International Journal of Research and Analytical Reviews, 6(2), 607-618.
  21. White, M. (2001). Yoga for pregnancy. International Journal of Childbirth Education, 16(4), 5.
  22. Śliwa, M. (2020). What the practice of yoga can do for academic practice: personal reflections.
  23. Miller, E. B. (2005). Yoga for back care: learn a sequence of simple poses to maintain a Healthy back. IDEA Fitness Journal, 2(8), 103-106.
  24. Somlata Jadoun, D., & Yadav, S. K. (2019). Anatomical Explanation of “Mayurasana”.
  25. Lyons, J. (2013). Rooted and Reaching: Vrksasana, Tree Pose. Fourth Genre, 15(2), 91-100.
  26. Singh, C., Reddy, T. O., & Singh, V. (2013). Benefit of Yoga Poses for Women during Pregnancy.
  27. Law, J. D. Devotion in Motion Poses Named after Hindu Gods, Demigods, and Other Mythological Beings.
  28. Rossi, K., Mortimer, J., & Rossi, E. (2015). Integration of classical yoga and the 4-stage creative process of modern science. waking and sleeping, 19, 23.
  29. Adam Bazini PhD, L. M. H. C. (2011). The effects of Hatha yoga in the treatment of depression. Journal of Alternative Medicine Research, 3(2), 219.
  30. Sander, E. (1996). Menopause the yoga way. Yoga J, 126, 68.
  31. BijendarSingh, J. B., & Laxmi, V. (2021). The Positive effects of Asanas and Pranayama on PCOS and How to deal with hormonal imbalance?. Science and Technology, 7(0707029), 190-195.
  32. Sahu, P., Singh, B. K., & Nirala, N. (2021). Effect of Various Standing Poses of Yoga on the Musculoskeletal System Using EMG. In Computer-aided Design and Diagnosis Methods for Biomedical Applications (pp. 89-112). CRC Press.
  33. Murphy, M. (2003). Six-pack success: three roads to a head-turning midsection: do these three new routines individually–or mix and match the various movements from each–to build the abs you’ve always dreamed of.(Home Training). Men’s Fitness, 19(3), 62-70.
  34. Maurya, H. A. R. I. K. E. S. H., & Kumar, T. (2016). A review on comprehensive overview in the management of nephrotic disorders. J Crit Rev, 3(2), 34-43.
  35. Fishman, L. M. (2021). Yoga and Bone Health. Orthopaedic Nursing, 40(3), 169-179.
  36. Gangwal, J., & Kholiya, S. Significance of Natrajasana in Day to Day Life.
  37. Liu, A. M., Chu, I. H., Lin, H. T., Liang, J. M., Hsu, H. T., & Wu, W. L. (2021). Training benefits and injury risks of standing yoga applied in musculoskeletal problems: lower limb biomechanical analysis. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(16), 8402.
  38. Chowdhury, K. (2014). UTILITY OF CHANDRA NAMASKARA IN DAILY LIFE.
  39. Kaminoff, L., Matthews, A., & Ellis, S. (2007). Yoga anatomy. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.
  40. Nayak, N. N., & Shankar, K. (2004). Yoga: a therapeutic approach. Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinics, 15(4), 783-798.
  41. Vagh, M. G. (2019). Influence of yogic breathing on Asthma: The respiratory disorder.
  42. Bhargava, R., Gogate, M. G., & Mascarenhas, J. F. (1988). Autonomic responses to breath holding and its variations following pranayama. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol, 32(4), 257-64.
  43. Nagendra, H. R. (2011). Pranayama.
  44. Ghiya, S. (2017). Alternate nostril breathing: a systematic review of clinical trials. Int J Res Med Sci, 5(8), 3273-3286.
  45. Thanalakshmi, J., Ravindran, R., Sembulingam, K., & Sembulingam, P. (2014). Impact of Sheetali and Sheetkari pranayama on the topographic mapping of the brain waves. IOSR Journal Of Pharmacy, 4(10), 51-57.
  46. Kumar, V. (2015). Impact of Pranayama on breath holding time of school students.
  47. Srivastava, S., Goyal, P., Tiwari, S. K., & Patel, A. K. (2017). Interventional effect of Bhramari Pranayama on mental health among college students. Int J Ind Psychol, 4, 29-33.
  48. Malipatil, R. P. (2018). Effect of asana on physical fitness variables among government residential school students.
  49. Agrawal, R. K., & Gupta, P. K. (2018). Stress management in children by yoga practice.
  50. Hazarika, D. B. (2016). Kundalini yoga. Lulu. com.

Author

Neha
Neha

I am a food technologist. I cherish working on interesting topics and will be ready to take the challenge into sharp output. I like to study and learn while working. My work describes me. Good content allows me to talk with people without speaking a word.

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