Yoga Poses

Yoga is a spiritual, ascetic and physical set of practices focusing on breathing, movement, posture, and meditation. Yoga, translated as ‘union’ or ‘connection,’ is an ancient Hindu teaching that is undergone for a variety of purposes including health, relaxation, rehabilitation, and exercise. Most commonly understood as the physical practice of Hatha yoga in the Western world, yoga is performed through a series of asanas (yoga poses) and pranayama (breathing exercises) meant to prepare the body for a combined spiritual and meditative experience. Asanas include many interrelated poses that combine reclining, standing, inversion, twisting, balancing, and sitting postures for specific beneficial effects.

Common Questions

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Mountain Pose
Illustration of a man and woman standing in Yoga Mountain Pose with lines drawn to represent intended posture
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.
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.
Mountain Pose

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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

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Tree Pose
Drawing of a man and woman standing in Yoga Tree Pose with diagram of posture
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.
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.
Tree Pose

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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

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Warrior I Pose
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.
Side elevation of a man and woman illustrating the Warrior I yoga pose
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.
Warrior I Pose

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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

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Warrior II Pose
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) is the second in the sequence of the standing postures in yoga for strength and flexibility. To achieve it, 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.
Drawing of a man and woman in Warrior II yoga pose with angles describing the positions of the body
Warrior II (Virabhadrasana II) is the second in the sequence of the standing postures in yoga for strength and flexibility. To achieve it, 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.
Warrior II Pose

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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

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Triangle Pose
Triangle pose (Trikonasana) is one of the first yoga poses and is identified by a clear structural simplicity and the creation of several triangles with the body. The Triangle Pose engages nearly ever part of the body and energizes by opening the hips, and stretching the legs, chest and shoulders.
Drawing of a man and woman performing the yoga Triangle Pose with angles showing positions
Triangle pose (Trikonasana) is one of the first yoga poses and is identified by a clear structural simplicity and the creation of several triangles with the body. The Triangle Pose engages nearly ever part of the body and energizes by opening the hips, and stretching the legs, chest and shoulders.
Triangle Pose

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Sanskrit Name: Trikonasana
Benefits (Physical): Engages every part of body, core strength, opens hips, stretches legs, chest, and shoulders
Benefits (Core): Energy, balance, focus
Modifications: Yoga block to support hand
Variations: Lower hand on inside or outside of leg

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Downward-Facing Dog
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho mukha śvānāsana) is a standing mid-inversion yoga pose that stretches the entire body. Named for the way a dog stretches its body, the Downward-Facing Dog pose stretches the back, ankles, calves, hamstrings, spine, chest, and shoulders while strengthening the arms and legs.
Drawings of a man and woman performing the Downward-Facing Dog Yoga position with angles for optimizing the pose
Downward-Facing Dog (Adho mukha śvānāsana) is a standing mid-inversion yoga pose that stretches the entire body. Named for the way a dog stretches its body, the Downward-Facing Dog pose stretches the back, ankles, calves, hamstrings, spine, chest, and shoulders while strengthening the arms and legs.
Downward-Facing Dog

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Sanskrit Name: Adho mukha śvānāsana
Benefits (Physical): Stretches whole back, ankles, calves, hamstrings, spine, chest, shoulders
Benefits (Core): Calms mind, blood circulation, energizes body
Modifications: Use a belt loop around upper arms, belt loop on upper legs
Variations: Incase the stretch by lifting onto the balls of your feet

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Plank Pose
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.
Side elevation drawings of a man and woman in Yoga Plank Pose with diagram lines showing ideal posture
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.
Plank Pose

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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

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Seated Forward Bend
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.
Drawing of a man and woman in the Yoga Seated Forward Bend posture with diagram of forces
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.
Seated Forward Bend

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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

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Child's Pose
Child’s Pose (Bālāsana) is a resting yoga position used for reducing stress and fatigue. Relaxing bodily muscles while stretching the hips, thighs, and ankles, Child’s Pose calms and restores the body through centering and calming positioning.
Side elevation of a man and woman in the Yoga Child's Pose with angles diagramming ideal posture
Child’s Pose (Bālāsana) is a resting yoga position used for reducing stress and fatigue. Relaxing bodily muscles while stretching the hips, thighs, and ankles, Child’s Pose calms and restores the body through centering and calming positioning.
Child's Pose

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Sanskrit Name: Bālāsana
Benefits (Physical): Stretches hips, thighs and ankles
Benefits (Core): Resting, relaxation, reduces stress and fatigue
Modifications: Place a thick blanket between thighs and calves if difficult
Variations: Spread the knees to have a deep stretch in hips, rest arms alongside thighs for a more calming pose

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