Yoga Asanas and Their Poses for Beginners

 "Yoga is not just physical exercise. It's an emotional integration, spiritual elevation, with a touch of a mystic element, which gives you a glimpse of something which is beyond all imagination."

Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Yoga is a complete science; it unites body, mind and spirit and also the universe. It brings peace and bliss to every individual. It also creates a significant difference in one’s behavior, thoughts, and attitude. Daily practice of yoga increases our tranquility, sensitivity, intuition, and awareness.

What are yoga asanas?

Our mind is like a pendulum; swinging from the past to the future, regret, and anger to anxiety and fear, happiness to sorrow. It is ‘Yoga asana’ that enables us to maintain equanimity. Yoga asana is not a mere workout or exercise!
As described in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra -“sthira sukham asanam”–it means Yoga asana is a balance of effort and ease. We give the effort to get into the posture and then we relax. Yoga asana brings that balance in every aspect of our life. It teaches us to put effort and then let go, to get detached from the result. Yoga asana increases our physical flexibility and expands our mind.
Yoga has to be done with the breath, and with awareness. When we lift our hands for yoga, first we become aware of the arm, and then we slowly lift it, synchronized with the breath. It is as graceful as a dance, gliding into one posture from another. The key is to stretch a little more, in each asana, than what we are comfortable with and then relax and let go. This little effort to take the body beyond its agreeable limit expands our mind.
Another Yoga Sutra by Patanjali says “prayatna shaithilyaananta samapattibhyam”–Again it reiterates the same philosophy. Give effort and then let go and by doing so Infinity dawns in our awareness, our awareness expands!

1. Standing yoga asana:

English NameSanskrit Name
Standing Sideways Bending One armKonasana
Sideways Bending Using Both armsKonasana 2
Standing Spinal TwistKatichakrasana
Standing Forward BendHastapadasana
Standing Backward BendArdha Chakrasana
Triangle PoseTrikonasana
Warrior PoseVirabhadrasana or Virabhadrasana
Standing Forward Bend with Feet ApartParsarita Padotanasana
Tree PoseVrikshasana
Reverse Prayer PosePaschim Namaskarasana
Eagle PoseGarudasana
Chair PoseUtkatasana

2. Sitting yoga asanas:

English NameSanskrit Name
One-Legged Forward BendJanu Shirasasana
Two-Legged Forward BendPaschimottanasana
Upward Plank PosePoorvottanasana
Sitting Half Spinal TwistArdha Matsyendrasana
Butterfly PoseBadhakonasana
Lotus PosePadmasana
One-Legged Pigeon PoseEka Pada Raja Kapotasana
Camel PoseUstrasana
Child PoseShishuasana
Mill Churning PoseChakki Chalanasana

3. Lying down on stomach yoga asanas:

English NameSanskrit Name
Side Plank PoseVasisthasana
Downward Facing Dog PoseAdho Mukha Svanasana
Dolphin Plank PoseMakara Adho Mukha Svanasana
Cat StretchMarjariasana
Bow PoseDhanurasana
Cobra PoseBhujangasana
Sphinx PoseSalamba Bhujangasana
Superman PoseViparita Shalabhasana
Locust PoseShalabasana

4. Lying down on back yoga asanas:

English NameSanskrit Name
Boat PoseNaukasana
Bridge PoseSetu Bandhasana
Fish PoseMatsyasana
Wind-Relieving PosePavanamuktasana
Shoulder StandSarvangasana
Plow PoseHalasana
Lying-down Body TwistNatrajasana
Lying-down on sidesVishnuasana
Corpse PoseShavasana

Learn yoga asanas and experience yoga: Find a yoga center near you.