yoga poses

Yoga poses and their types

“Yoga is not just physical exercises. It's emotional integration, spiritual elevation, with the 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 that unites the body, mind, and spirit. It creates a significant difference in one’s behavior, thoughts, and attitude. Daily practice of yoga increases tranquility, sensitivity, intuition, and awareness.

What are yoga asanas?

Our mind is like a pendulum that swings from the past to the future, from regret and anger to anxiety and fear, from happiness to sorrow. Yoga asanas enable us to harmonize our body and mind and bring about equanimity. Yoga asanas are not merely a different type of physical workout or exercise but much more.

In his famous Yoga Sutras, the great sage Patanjali says, “Sthira Sukham Asanam,” which means that Yoga asanas are a balance of effort and ease. We put an effort to get into the posture and then relax. Yoga asanas help bring this balance in every aspect of our life. They teach us to put an effort and then let go or get detached from the result. Yoga asanas increase our physical flexibility and expand our mind.

Yoga has to be done with awareness, especially on the breath. When we lift our hands for yoga, we first become aware of our arms and then slowly raise them while synchronizing it with the breath. Yoga is as graceful as a dance where we glide from one pose into another. The key is to stretch a little more in each asana than what we are comfortable with and then to relax and let go. This little effort to take the body beyond its agreeable limit expands our mind.

In another Yoga Sutra, the great Sage Patanjali says, “Prayatna Shaithilyaananta Samapattibhyam” or that by letting go of the effort, we allow infinity to dawn in our awareness, thereby enabling it to expand.

Different types of Yoga poses

1. Standing yoga poses

English Name Sanskrit Name
Standing Sideways Bending One Arm Konasana-I
Sideways Bending Using Both Arms Konasana-II
Standing Spinal Twist Katichakrasana
Standing Forward Bend Hastapadasana
Standing Backward Bend Ardha Chakrasana
Triangle Pose Trikonasana
Warrior Pose Veerabhadrasana or Virabhadrasana
Standing Forward Bend with Feet Apart Parsarita Padahastasana
Tree Pose Vrikshasana
Reverse Prayer Yoga Pose Paschim Namaskarasana
Eagle Pose Garudasana
Chair Pose Utkatasana

2. Sitting yoga poses

English Name Sanskrit Name
One-Legged Forward Bend Janu Shirasasana
Two-Legged Forward Bend Paschimottanasana
Upward Plank Pose Poorvottanasana
Sitting Half Spinal Twist Ardha Matsyendrasana
Butterfly Pose Badhakonasana
Lotus Pose Padmasana
Cat Stretch Marjariasana
One-Legged Pigeon Pose Eka Pada Raja Kapotasana
Child Pose Shishuasana
Mill Churning Yoga Pose Chakki Chalanasana
Thunderbolt Pose Vajrasana

3. Lying down on stomach yoga poses

English Name Sanskrit Name
Side Plank Pose Vasisthasana
Downward Facing Dog Pose Adho Mukha Svanasana
Dolphin Plank Pose Makara Adho Mukha Svanasana
Bow Pose Dhanurasana
Cobra Pose Bhujangasana
Sphinx Pose Salamba Bhujangasana
Superman Pose Viparita Shalabhasana
Locust Pose Shalabasana
Upward Facing Dog Pose Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

4. Lying down on back yoga poses

English Name Sanskrit Name
Boat Pose Naukasana
Bridge Pose Setu Bandhasana
Fish Pose Matsyasana
Wind-Relieving Pose Pavanamuktasana
Shoulder Stand Sarvangasana
Plow Pose Halasana
Lying-Down Body Twist Natrajasana
Lying-Down on Sides Vishnuasana
Corpse Pose Shavasana
Headstand Pose Sirsasana


Practicing Yoga helps develop the body and mind, yet is not a substitute for medicine. It is essential to learn and practice yoga under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga only after consulting your doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher.

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