50 Yoga Poses for Health, Flexibility, and Inner Strength

 Looking to hone your yoga practice? Check out our A-Z catalog of 50 yoga poses that offer everything from beginners' tips to advanced strategies. 

By Sejal Shah I Updated on: October 22, 2020

cobra pose

Are you starting your yoga practice? Browse our A-Z catalog of yoga poses. The catalog includes explanations for basic to advanced poses including seated, standing, supine, and prone poses. It also includes ten easy yoga poses for beginners.

Topics included:

triangle pose

Yoga is a combination of physical and mental exercises that have benefitted yoga practitioners for thousands of years. While most people may think of yoga as the practice of yoga poses, the practice also includes breathwork, meditation, and more. As a beginner, learning and practicing yoga poses is a good starting place to discover yoga's many offerings.

Whether you are young or old, fit or in some pain, yoga classes have the power to calm the mind and strengthen the body. And almost anyone can practice yoga and reap its profound benefits. 

Understanding yoga poses: a brief history

tree pose

The practice of yoga goes back thousands of years. While originally an oral tradition, parts of this beautiful heritage have been preserved in texts and commentaries like the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. There, Sage Patanjali describes the poses, called asanas, as one of the eight limbs of yoga.

He defines asana as that which is steady and comfortable. This understanding also gives insight into the qualities of an enjoyable and effective yoga practice. Whether it's a child's pose, mountain pose, or even downward facing dog, we want to find a place that is steady and stable, while also relaxing into the pose. A true yoga pose offers both ease and stability, both during and after practice. Remembering this in your yoga sessions will offer many benefits.

At a deeper level, yoga explores the full expression of mind-body integration. We become aware of the flow of life energy in the body. We go beyond flexibility and a good workout, to connect physical steadiness to stillness and evenness of mind.

In the next two lines, Sage Patanjali further explains how to do the asana and what the benefit is:

“Let go of all effort to experience infinity” 

“The practice will remove the conflicts of duality”

child's pose

You may notice that he doesn’t name any specific postures or suggest that they should be complicated. Rather the purpose here is to maintain a steady and comfortable position in order for the life force energy to flow freely. The full practice also involves an inward stroke that takes us deeper into an experience of stillness and oneness by letting go. So, even if you can’t touch your toes or do a handstand, you can still practice yoga!

A few centuries after Sage Patanjali, Hatha Yoga texts had a lot more to say about seated postures. These texts also include more specific poses that strengthened and opened the body. The Goraksha Samhita, a twelfth-century text, mentions 84 postures. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written around the middle of the fourteenth century, mentions 16. The Gheranda Samhita of the late seventeenth century weighs in with 32. The Yoga-Shastra, even mentions 840,000 different poses. These 840,000 poses represent a pose for each living creature in the universe.

downward dog

The practice of yoga poses is traditionally called Hatha Yoga where the emphasis is on the disciplined efforts to achieve a strong body and mind.  Hatha Yoga is the basis of all different yoga styles of modern yoga, including Iyengar Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Sri Sri Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Restorative Yoga, Bikram Yoga (hot yoga), and Power Yoga.

Here is a beautiful video in which Gurudev, a renowned expert in yoga and meditation, explains what this practice:

50+ yoga poses, from basic to advanced

A beginner yoga student might feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of poses and their odd-sounding names. There's triangle pose, bridge pose, mountain pose, tree pose, and even plank pose. To make it easy, we have listed 50 of the most popular and beneficial yoga poses and sequences along with their English and Sanskrit names.

chair pose yoga

Browse our detailed yoga pose catalog that includes standing, seated, prone, supine, and lying on sides poses. These range from yoga poses for beginners to advanced poses.

If you click on the name of the pose you will find out more about it—level of difficulty, the step-by-step instructions on how to do it, the benefits, precautions, modifications and variations, preparatory and follow-up poses.

Out of these 50, here are the top 10 easy yoga poses for a beginner. Roll out your yoga mat and get ready for some gentle body stretching! As you progress, you can take on more challenging poses, but it is a good idea to keep things simple when you're just starting out..

From mountain pose to downward facing dog: browse our yoga poses catalog 

mountain pose

Poses are listed A-Z for each category

English Name

Sanskrit Name

Level of Difficulty And

Main Benefit

Standing Poses



Angle Pose 1

Konasana 1



Angle Pose 2

Konasana 2



Chair Pose



Hips, legs

Eagle Pose



Hips, legs

Mountain Pose



Spine, legs

Reverse Prayer Pose

Paschim Namaskarasana


Chest, upper back

Standing Backward Bend

Ardha Chakrasana


Chest, arms, shoulders

Standing Forward Bend

Uttanasana or Hastapadasana


Back, hamstrings, nervous system

Standing Spinal Twist



Spine, waist

Standing Wide-legged Forward Bend

Prasarita Padottanasana​


Back, hamstrings

Sun Salutation

Surya Namaskara


Entire body

Tree Pose



Hips, legs, balancing pose

Triangle Pose



Hips, legs, digestion, full-body stretch

Warrior Pose

Veerabhadrasana or Virabhadrasana


Hips, legs, arms, shoulders, back



Seated Poses​



Adamantine Pose



Digestion, posture, thighs, legs

Butterfly Pose



Inner thighs, hips, menstrual discomfort

Camel Pose



Chest, abdomen, back

Cat Stretch



Back, abdomen, wrists, digestion

Child's Pose

Shishu Asana


Back, digestion, nervous system

Cradle Pose



Hamstrings, hips, pelvis

Downward Facing Dog Pose (or Downward Dog)

Adho Mukha Svanasana


Spine, upper body, leg muscles, anxiety, headache

Easy Cross-Legged Sitting



Hips, back, posture

Forward Lunge

Ashwa Sanchalanasana


Spine, back, chest, lungs

Cow Face Pose

(or Cow Pose)



Shoulders, things, spine, sciatica

Inclined Plane or Upward Plank Pose



Wrists, arms, shoulders, back, spine, chest

Lotus Pose



Hips, pelvis, posture, digestion

Lotus Practice

Padma Sadhana


Entire body, mind, soul

Mill Churning Pose

Chakki Chalanasana


Back, abdomen, hips, sciatica, menstrual discomfort

Monkey Pose



Hips, things, legs

One-Legged Forward Bend

Janu Shirasasana


Lower back, abdomen

Two-Legged Sitting Forward Bend



Lower back, abdomen


Pigeon Pose or One-Legged King Pigeon Pose

Kapotasana or Eka Pada Rajakapotasana


Hips, legs, posture

Seated Forward Bend With Adi Mudra (hand gesture)

Yoga Mudrasana


Abdomen, back

Sitting Half Spinal Twist

Ardha Matsyendrasana


Spine, chest, lungs, digestion




Subtle Yoga for Head and Neck

Sukshma Vyayama


Neck, shoulders

Subtle Yoga for the Whole body

Sukshma Vyayama (Video)


All joints and muscles of the body



Prone (Lying on Belly) Poses



Bow Pose



Abdomen, back, reproductive organs

Cobra Pose



Arms, chest, abdomen, wrists, digestion, backache

Crocodile Pose



Back, stress relief, relaxation

Locust Pose



Spine, back, shoulders, arms

Sphinx Pose

Salamba Bhujangasana


Spine, chest, shoulders, stress relief

Superman Pose

Viparita Shalabhasana


Chest, shoulders, arms, legs, abdomen, lower back

Upward Facing Dog Pose

Urdhva Mukha Svanasana


Back, arms, wrists, posture



Supine (Lying on Back) Poses



Boat Pose



Back, abdominals, arms, hips, hernia

Bridge Pose



Back, spine, neck, chest, kungs

Corpse Pose



Stress relief, relaxation

Fish Pose


Beginner/Intermediate Chest, lungs, upper back

Legs Up The Wall Pose

Viparita Karani


Stress relief, relaxation, back pain

Lying-down Body Twist



Spine, back

Plow Pose (or Plough Pose)



Neck, shoulders, abs, back, thyroid

Shoulder Stand



Neck, shoulders, abs, back, thyroid

Wheel Pose or Full-Wheel Pose and 
Upward BowPose

Chakrasana or Urdhva Dhanurasana


Arms, legs, spine,  abdomen, chest

Wind-Relieving Pose



Back, abdomen, gas, digestion



Lying on Side Poses



Side Reclining Leg Lift Pose or Lying- down on sides

Vishnu Asana or Anantasana


Pelvis, inner thighs

Scroll down to learn some more yoga poses

How you can learn these poses and get started with yoga practice

cat stretch

It is most helpful to learn and practice yoga with the guidance of a trained yoga teacher. While you can find lots of information on our website, the best way to learn is still with feedback and space to ask questions with a trainer who is certified. This will allow you to experience each pose in its most subtle and deeper aspects. We recommend attending a Sri Sri Yoga Foundation Program near you to really dive deep into your practice. 

If that’s not possible, you can also join yoga classes in our virtual yoga studio.

Our 200 hours of yoga teacher training provides a wonderful platform to learn all the fundamentals of yoga poses in great detail. 

Try our free 60-minute yoga class

lotus pose

Experience the profound ways Sri Sri Yoga can enhance every aspect of your life and mind-body health with calmness, wisdom, resiliency, and strength. Attend a free online intro yoga class with a live yoga instructor to know more.

The benefits of a good yoga session

standing forward bend

Creating your own yoga practice will have benefits on the physical, mental, emotional, and energetic levels. Whether you are looking to enhance your flexibility, build up your overall health, or tap into inner peace, a good yoga session can definitely help. In the links above, you will also find guidance on the breathing cues on how to inhale and exhale in each of the poses. The breath is an important part of asana too. 

Many yoga students begin a yoga asana practice for physical flexibility, strength, stamina, balance, stress relief, and improved health. But they soon discover benefits such as an increased sense of well-being, easier access to meditative states, and improved emotional stability. The key to experiencing these benefits lies in a regular yoga practice over time with patience, attention, and consistency. Having said this, many people feel better after even just one good yoga session!

There is also an evolving field of therapeutic yoga that advocates using specific asana to help alleviate specific health problems or physical issues.

Some tips for beginners and advanced practitioners

bow pose

Try to practice on an empty stomach and don’t force yourself into any poses. Instead, be gentle and aim for stability. In order to enhance the benefits of the poses, physical poses can be followed up with breathing exercises and meditation. Regardless of the yoga style, it is best to practice mindfully with awareness, as a means of uniting the body, breath, and mind. 

It takes just a few classes to learn the beginner yoga poses and the right way of doing these asanas

Remember, your yoga practice is a continuous evolution and practice makes progress.  Over years of practice, you grow and blossom further as a human being. Here are some tips to help improve your evolving practice.

sphinx pose

Going deeper: your complimentary guided breathwork and meditation session

For those who want to go deeper into yoga practice, it is helpful to explore the integration of breathwork and meditation. By working with the rhythms of your breath, you can start to impact how you feel in day to day life. Join us for a free breath & meditation session with a live instructor and learn a simple yet powerful breathing technique, and enjoy a guided meditation.

Sejal Shah, E-RYT 500 Sri Sri Yoga Teacher, YACEP, C-IAYT, Meditation Teacher, Happiness expert, NYU Post Graduate Medical School approved Yoga-CME retreat facilitator, Mind-Body Wellness Writer, Homeopath. She can be followed on YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.



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