Warrior I (Virabhadrasana I) is one of the common standing postures in yoga for improving strength and flexibility. To perform this pose, place the legs in a lunge position with the back foot turned 45-60 degrees while keeping the front leg bent at a 90 degree angle over the ankle. The heel of the front foot should be aligned with that of the back foot. The hips should be squared with arms raised overhead and palms together or facing each other.
Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana I
Benefits (Physical): Strengthens legs, opens hips and chest, stretches arms and legs
Benefits (Core): Concentration, balance, groundedness, stamina
Modifications: Hands on knees or hips
Variations: Arms to the sides or hold opposite elbows above head, back foot turned in or flat
Male and female Warrior I side elevation
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) is the second in the sequence of the common standing postures in yoga for improving strength and flexibility. To achieve the pose, place the legs in the lunge position with the forward knee at a 90 degree angle. Arms are outstretched in a line pointing forward in alignment with the body. The back leg should be at an angle between 45-70 degree from center with the torso and hips in line with the front leg. The back foot should be turned at a 90 degree angle.
Sanskrit Name: Virabhadrasana II
Benefits (Physical): Strengthens legs, opens hips and chest
Benefits (Core): Concentration, balance, groundedness, stamina, circulation, respiration, and energizes the body
Modifications: Hands on Hips
Male and female Warrior II side elevation
Mountain pose (Tadasana) is the foundational pose for all standing yoga poses. Performed and aligned correctly, the Mountain Pose uses every muscle in the body, improves posture and calms the mind while it finds balance. To perform the Mountain Pose, bring the feet together while standing, ground down through your heels and legs, draw up with your thighs, broaden your collarbones, align your shoulders with your body, and elongate your neck upwards. Your hands and arms can be in a variety of poses from palms to the side facing inward, to outward facing, or in prayer at the chest.
Sanskrit Name: Tadasana
Benefits (Physical): Strengthens things, knees, ankles, abs, buttocks
Benefits (Core): Posture, balance, focus
Modifications: Can be practiced with back against wall
Variations: Turn palms forward to open chest and shoulders, place palms together in prayer at chest for center and balance, can stand with feet hip-distance apart if difficulty with together
Yoga Mountain Pose side elevation (Male & Female)
Plank Pose (Phalakasana) is a balancing yoga pose that tones all the muscles of the body through endurance and stamina training. Using the arms for balance, Plank Pose tones the abdominal muscles while strengthening the arms and spine in a push-up like position. To practice the Plank Pose, begin on your hands and knees and press down through your forearms and hands until you lift up into a lifted position. Pull your pelvic muscles toward your spine while you gaze at a space between your hands. Hold the pose for five breaths.
Sanskrit Name: Phalakasana
Benefits (Physical): Strengthens and tones core muscles of the body
Benefits (Core): Strength and stability
Modifications: Place palms onto rolled edge of mattress if they are sore
Variations: Lower knees to the floor, deepen pose by lifting individual legs
Yoga Plank Pose side elevation (Male & Female)
Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana), also known as seated forward fold, is a meditative yoga pose that helps relieve stress. Performed later in the yoga sequence when the body is warmed-up, the Seated Forward Bend is a deep and calming stretch for the spine, shoulders, pelvis, hamstrings. To perform the Seated Forward Bend, sit with your legs extended in front, and inhale and exhale into a forward bend from the hips. Grab your shins, ankles or feet and continue to lengthen and fold deeper.
Sanskrit Name: Paschimottanasana
Benefits (Physical): Stretches spine, shoulders, pelvis, hamstrings
Benefits (Core): Calms mind, prepares for meditation
Modifications: Switch into ‘Legs Up the Wall’ pose on your back
Variations: Bend your knees if your hamstrings or lower back are tight
Yoga Seated Forward Bend side elevation (Male & Female)
Tree Pose (Vrksasana) is an essential balancing pose in yoga known for enhancing both physical and mental focus and concentration. Understood as a standing version of a seated meditative posture, the Tree Pose requires you to stand steadily on only one foot. To perform Tree Pose, begin in Mountain Pose, shift your weight to your left foot, and raise your right knee up to your inner left thigh. With your hands raised in prayer position at your chest, fix your gaze on an unmoving point in front of you while drawing down through your left foot.
Sanskrit Name: Vrksasana
Benefits (Physical): Opens hips, strengthens legs, knees, ankles, spine
Benefits (Core): Balance, focus, concentration
Modifications: Can be practiced with hand on wall for support
Variations: Rest your foot on calf muscle or ankle if unable to bring up to thigh, hands above head or in prayer at chest
Male and female Tree Pose front elevation