YOGA POSES / YOGA ASANAS

Here are 19 types of Yoga poses / asanas that can help you:


1) Tadasana

Tadasana is also called Mountain Pose. Tada means a mountain. It implies a pose where one stands firm and erect as a mountain.

Stand erect with the feet together, the heels and big toes touching each other. Distribute the body weight evenly, raise the arms over the head, interlocking the fingers and turn the palms upward. Inhale and stretch the arms up, coming up onto the toes, stay here and breathe, stretching the entire body from top to bottom. On an exhale come down onto the feet and on another inhale, rise on the toes again.

Due to faulty method of standing and not distributing body weight evenly one tends to acquire specific deformities which hamper spinal elasticity. Tadasana improves body alignment and posture helping in mastering the art of standing correctly.

2) Trikonasana

Stand in Tadasana, inhale and spread your legs apart sideways about 3 feet, raise the arms sideways, in line with the shoulders, palms facing down as shown above. Exhale and bend the trunk sideways to the right, bringing the right palm near the right ankle, if possible to the floor. Stretch the left arm up bringing it in line with the right shoulder and extend the trunk. Gaze at the thumb of the left outstretched hand. Remain in this position from half a minute to a minute, breathing deeply and evenly. Then lift the right palm from the floor. Inhale and bring the body upright to the previous position. Exhale and come back to Tadasana. Repeat on the other side.

This asana tones up the leg muscles, removes stiffness in the legs and hips, corrects any minor deformity in the legs and allows them to develop evenly. It relieves backaches and neck sprains, strengthens the ankles and develops the chest.

***Not to be done by persons having migraine, high BP, neck and back injuries.

3) Vrikshasana - the tree pose

Vriksha means a tree. Stand in Tadasana. Bend the right leg at the knee and place the right heel at the root of the left thigh. Rest the foot on the left thigh, toes pointing downwards. Balance on the left leg, join the palms and raise the arms straight over the head. Stay for a few seconds in the pose breathing deeply. Then lower the arms and separate the palms, straighten the right leg and stand again in Tadasana. Repeat the pose, standing on the right leg.

Improves focus and concentration, strengthens the leg muscles and improves alignment, improves your balance and poise. This pose gives you a sense of grounding.

***Not to be done by persons with knee and back injuries.

4) Padmasana - Simple Cross-legged Pose

Sit on the ground with your legs stretched in a straight line. Bend your right knee and take your right foot and place on left thigh bringing it as close as possible to the navel. Follow the same procedure with the left leg. By this way your both knees come in contact with the ground such that soles are pointing in upward direction and spine is held straight.

Padmasana calms the mind, helps in concentration, kundalini awakening and ultimately provides relaxation, offers natural balance throughout your body and mind as well.

***Not to be done by persons with knee injuries.



5) Sukhasana - the lotus posture

The " Simple Cross-Legged Pose" is intended to be comfortable and calming. Those who find it difficult to do Padmasana can start with Sukhasana.

It strengthens the back and stretches the knees and ankles. Sukhasana also opens the hips, groin, and outer thigh muscles. Sitting upright with your spine aligned also reduces stress and anxiety. It calms the mind and is known to be therapeutic for stress.







6) Makarasana - the crocodile pose

Lie on the ground face down and both legs stretched out, catch the head with the arms or the face with the palms as given above.

Is useful for people with back and shoulder problems. This asana can be done as a relaxation pose between other asanas or when you are tired. You can be in this asana for a prolonged period of time if you are tired after a workout. It relaxes the spinal nerves allowing for natural realignment of the spine.





7)  Bhujangasana - the Cobra pose

Lie flat on the stomach with hands on either side of the chest next to the shoulders, inhale and lifting the chest, bring the chin up towards the sky. Stay here and breathe inhaling and exhaling deeply to open the chest. Exhale and lower the chest back to the ground. Repeat the pose two or three times and then relax.

The posture is a panacea for an injured spine and in cases of slight displacement of spinal discs the practice of this pose replaces the discs in their original position. The spinal region is toned and the chest fully expanded.

***Not to be done by pregnant women / persons having chronic disorders.


8) Adho Mukha Svanasana - downward dog posture

Start on all fours, lower your head push with your hands, straightening the legs and slowly raise the hips and bring your body into an inverted V as shown in the pic, hold for 3 full breaths. This pose stretches hamstrings, chest and lengthens the spine, providing additional blood flow to the head leaving you energized.

***Not to be done by person with Carpal tunnel syndrome /high BP / shoulder dislocation/ detached retina.





9) Ardha Shalbhasana - shalabh is the grasshopper

Lie on your stomach with the chin stretched and touching the ground. Keep the hands on the side and bring them under the legs to support them. Inhale slowly and deeply and lift your right leg upwards, without bending the knees, as much as you can. Maintain this position for some time. Slowly release the position by bringing down the right leg back to the original position. Exhale during this process. Rest for few seconds and breathe normally and deeply. Now, try the above steps with your left leg. This process can be done a few times alternating between the right leg and the left leg.

It helps to exercise the spine and is one of the best yoga asanas for strengthening the back muscles.

***Should not be done by pregnant women and persons who have had any abdominal surgery in the recent past or having spinal injuries.

10) Salabhasana - the grasshopper pose

Lie on your stomach with the chin stretched and touching the ground. Keep the hands on the side and bring them under the legs to support them. Inhale slowly and deeply and lift the legs as high as possible. It is a back bend, or spine stretch, utilizing the strength of the upper and middle back. Improves flexibility and coordination and increases strength and stamina. It helps to exercise the spine and is one of the best yoga asanas for strengthening the back muscles.

***Should not be done by pregnant women and those who have had any abdominal surgery in the recent past or having spinal injuries.




11) Pawanmuktasana for Joints

These asanas basically focus on loosening up the joints of the body eliminating energy blockages in the joints of the physical body, improving coordination, self-awareness and self-confidence

People suffering from rheumatism, arthritis, high blood pressure, heart problems or other ailments who are advised not to involve in any vigorous/ strenuous physical exercise can practice this group of asanas.

Sit in the base position as shown. Move the various joints, bend the toes/ ankles forward and backwards, rotate the angle in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction starting with the toes, ankles and other joints of the hands. Should be done around 5 to 10 times.

12) Pawanmuktasana for Joints


Padanguli naman - Move toes back and forth, 8 to 10 times

Goolf naman - Move feet towards the body and away from the ankle, inhale while moving towards the body, exhale while moving away from the body.

Goolf chakra - Ankle rotation with both the feet together - five clockwise and five times anti-clockwise 

Ardh titli asana - bend right knee keep the ankle on the top of left thigh, place palm of the knee and move it up close to the chest while inhaling and push down to the ground while exhaling. Repeat the same with left knee. Ideally do it for 5 to 10 times.

Poorna titli asana - fold the legs at the knees and join the heels and move them up and down

Mushtika bandhan - stretch the hands in the front and clench and stretch the fingers. After doing it for 5 to 10 times, bring the hands down.

Manibandha naman - stretch the hands in the front, keeping the fingers together move the palms up while inhaling and down while exhaling.

Manibandha chakra - extend the hands in the front at shoulder level and rotate the fists clock-wise and anticlockwise - five times each

Kehuni naman - elbow bending, place the arms in front turning the arms upwards. Bend at the elbows and bring them to the shoulders.

Skandha chakra - stretch hands and fold and put them on the shoulders and rotate from the shoulder in clock-wise and anti-clockwise direction equal number of times - say around 5 times.

13) Pawanmuktasana for the Digestive System

This set of pawanmuktasana help in strengthening the digestive system and work on legs and abdominal muscles. They are of great help for a person suffering from indigestion, constipation, acidity, lack of appetite, diabetes, or any disorders of the male or female reproductive systems and varicose veins. These poses also eliminate energy blockages in the abdominal area.

***Should be avoided by persons with high blood pressure, heart problems, recent abdominal surgery.

Padottanasana - Slowly lift the right leg without bending the knee while inhaling, slowly bring down while exhaling - 3-5 times, do the same with the left leg and after that also with both legs at once.

14) Pawanmuktasana for the Digestive System


Supta-pawanmuktasana - while inhaling bend the left knee near to the stomach as much as possible. Push your left knee to touch the chest with both hand, exhale and push your left knee to touch the chest with both hands. Raise your head and try to touch the nose with the knee or bring it as early as possible and stay for 10 to 30 seconds by keeping breath out. Repeat same process with right leg.
Repeat the process 3 to 5 times.








15) Vajrasana

Sit on your knees with a straight posture and upright spine, feet should rest flat on the ground with soles turned upward. Focus on your breathing. This asana works on the thighs, legs, hip, knees, back and ankles. It is the only pose that can be done on a full stomach and it should be done right after having a meal.

In Vajrasana you obstruct blood flow to the lower part of your body which increases blood flow to your pelvic area and stomach due to which bowel movement and digestion becomes better. Aids liver function as well.

***Avoid doing in case of any leg or knee injury.



16) Sashankasana - the rabbit pose

Sit in Vajrasana, inhaling raise arms, while exhaling bend forward (arms should remain straight and near the ears), place forehead and forearms on the ground. Breath normally 10 times, slowly come back while inhaling, bring down hands and place on thighs. This can be repeated around 5 times.

Relaxes the pelvis and improves reproductive health, aids in digestion and relieves constipation.

***To be avoided by persons with spinal disc herniation, vertigo and high blood pressure.




17) Ardha Matsyendrasana - Lord of the fishes asana

Sit with legs extended, bending the right knee, bring the right foot on the outside of the left thigh. Inhale and twist to the right bringing the left arms by the right leg. Place the right hand on the floor behind you and gaze over the right shoulder. As you inhale, straighten the spine and exhale, twist even further. Repeat on the other side.

Massage the liver and kidneys stimulating detoxification, stimulates the spinal cord.

***To be avoided by persons with back and spinal injuries.




18) Gomukhasana - Cow face pose

Sit up straight in a comfortable posture with your legs crossed as shown in the picture.

Inhale and raise the right hand and bend at the elbow. Bend the left elbow and reach for the fingertips of the right hand. Stay here and breathe for a few seconds. Repeat on the other side

Releases tension in the shoulders and neck, helps to flex the back, making it more elastic, helps to cure stiff shoulders and also helps reduce backaches, regular practice also aids in the treatment of sciatica, enhances the working of the kidneys, thereby helping those suffering from diabetes and strengthens the spine.

***To be avoided by persons with knee, neck injuries and shoulder pain.

19) Shavasana - Corpse pose

Usually practiced towards the end of a yoga session which begins with activity and ends in rest- a space when deep healing can take place.

Lie down on your back as shown in pic, taking attention to different body parts one by one, slowly relax the entire body.