Nowadays, everyone is realizing the benefits Yoga can offer. Though it is an ancient practice, Yoga is now the exercise that has become an essential part of the daily life of millions of people. Some attend a formal Yoga class to learn various Yoga asanas while many practice Yoga at home learning online. If done well, practicing yoga has great health benefits. Here some Yoga asanas and their benefits are given. These Yoga asanas do everything from fighting stress, anxiety, and depression, to keeping the heart and stomach healthy. Some Yoga asanas reduce inflammation in the body while a few can relieve migraines. The list has been devised to help everyone who is searching for a definitive guide to various yoga poses. These Yoga asanas would also help in bringing your body, mind, and soul into a cool meditative state. Practice these asanas to achieve overall harmony and contentment and lead a healthy, happy, and prosperous life.
Bhujangasana or Cobra Pose is a reclining back-bending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. It is commonly performed in a cycle of asanas in Surya Namaskar (Salute to the Sun) as an alternative to Urdhva Mukha Svanasana (Upwards Dog Pose).
Lotus position or Padmasana is a cross-legged sitting meditation pose from ancient India, in which each foot is placed on the opposite thigh. It is an ancient asana in yoga, predating hatha yoga, and is widely used for meditation in Hindu, Tantra, Jain, and Buddhist traditions.
Salamba Shirshasana, often shortened to Shirshasana, or Yoga Headstand is an inverted asana in modern yoga as exercise; it was described as both an asana and a mudra in classical hatha yoga, under different names. It has been called the king of all asanas.
Dhanurasana, Bow pose, is a backbending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.
Halasana or Plough pose, is an inverted asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. Its variations include Karnapidasana with the knees by the ears, and Supta Konasana with the feet wide apart.
Siddhasana or Accomplished Pose, is an ancient seated asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise suitable for meditation. The names Muktasana and Burmese position are sometimes given to the same pose, sometimes to an easier variant.
Paschimottanasana, Seated Forward Bend, or Intense Dorsal Stretch is a seated forward-bending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. The pose is entered from Dandasana (the seated Staff Pose) by bending forward from the hips without straining and grasping the feet or lower legs. A strap may be placed around the feet and grasped in the hands if the back is stiff. The head may be rested on a folded blanket or bolster, which may be raised on a small stool if necessary.
Sukhasana, easy pose, is a simple cross -legged sitting asana in hatha yoga, sometimes used for meditation in both Buddhism and Hinduism.
The 19th century Sritattvanidhi describes and illustrates the pose. The name, and the more general name Yogasana which may denote a variety of similar poses, is found in much older documents as a meditation seat, such as in the 4th century Darshana Upanishad.
Downward Dog Pose, Downward-facing Dog Pose, or Adho Mukha Shvanasana is an inversion Asana in modern yoga as exercise, often practised as part of a flowing sequence of poses, especially Surya Namaskar, the Salute to the Sun. The asana does not have formally named variations, but several playful variants are used to assist beginning practitioners to become comfortable in the pose.
Downward Dog stretches the hamstring and calf muscles in the backs of the legs, and builds strength in the shoulders. Some popular sites have advised against it during pregnancy, but an experimental study of pregnant women found it beneficial.
Downward Dog has been called “deservedly one of yoga’s most widely recognized yoga poses” and the “quintessential yoga pose”. As such it is often the asana of choice when yoga is depicted in film, literature, and advertising. The pose has frequently appeared in Western culture, including in the titles of novels, a painting, and a television series, and it is implied in the name, “Yoga”, of a foldable computer.
A handstand is the act of supporting the body in a stable, inverted vertical position by balancing on the hands. In a basic handstand, the body is held straight with arms and legs fully extended, with hands spaced approximately shoulder-width apart and the legs together. There are many variations of handstands, all of which require the performer to possess adequate balance and upper body strength.
Handstands are performed in many athletic activities, including acro dance, cheerleading, circus, yoga, calisthenics, and gymnastics. Some variation of a handstand is performed on every gymnastic apparatus, and many tumbling skills pass through a handstand position during their execution. Breakdancers incorporate handstands in freezes and kicks. Armstand dives—a category found in competitive platform diving—are dives that begin with a handstand. Swimmers perform underwater handstands as a game, with their heads, arms, and bodies underwater with their legs and feet extended above the surface, often having contests with the winner being the person who can remain in an underwater handstand the longest.
Handstands are known by various other names. In modern yoga as exercise, the handstand is called Adho Mukha Vrksasana capoeira it is named bananeira.
Akarna Dhanurasana also called the Archer pose, Bow and Arrow pose, or Shooting Bow pose is an asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. The posture resembles an archer about to release an arrow.
Anantasana Sleeping Vishnu Pose or Vishnu’s Couch Pose, Eternal One’s Pose, or Side-Reclining Leg Lift is an asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Anjaneyasana Crescent Moon Pose or Ashwa Sanchalanasana, Equestrian Pose is a lunging back bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is sometimes included as one of the asanas in the Surya Namaskar sequence, though usually with arms down in that case.
Ardha Chandrasana or Half Moon Pose is a standing asana in modern yoga as exercise. The name comes from the Sanskrit words अर्ध ardha meaning “half”, चन्द्र candra meaning “moon”, and आसन asana meaning “posture” or “seat”.
Ashtanga Namaskara also called Ashtanga Dandavat Pranam, Eight Limbed pose, Caterpillar pose, or Chest, Knees and Chin pose is a posture sometimes used in the Surya Namaskar sequence in modern yoga as exercise, where the body is balanced on eight points of contact with the floor: feet, knees, chest, chin and hands.
Astavakrasana or Eight-Angle Pose is a hand-balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise dedicated to the sage Astavakra, the spiritual guru of King Janaka.
Baddha Konasana, Bound Angle Pose, Throne Pose, Butterfly Pose, or Cobbler’s Pose (after the typical sitting position of Indian cobblers when they work), and historically called Bhadrasana, is a seated asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. It is suitable as a meditation seat.
Bakasana (Crane pose), and the similar Kakasana (Crow pose) are balancing asanas in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. In all variations, these are arm balancing poses in which hands are planted on the floor, shins rest upon upper arms, and feet lift up. The poses are often confused, but traditionally Kakasana has arms bent, Bakasana (the crane being the taller bird with longer legs) has the arms straight.
Balasana, Child’s Pose, or Child’s Resting Pose is a kneeling asana in modern yoga as exercise. Balasana is a counter asana for various asanas and is usually practiced before and after Sirsasana.
Bhairavasana or formidable pose, sometimes called Supta Bhairavasana is a reclining asana in hatha yoga; the variation Kala Bhairavasana has the body balanced on the straight leg and one arm, as in Vasiṣṭhasana. Bhairava is one of the eight aspects of the god Shiva. The pose has also been called Aṇkusasana, the elephant goad pose.
Bharadvajasana or Bharadvaja’s twist is a twisting asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Bhekasana or Frog posture is a reclining asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is one of several poses that put the body in a shape like that of a frog: another is Mandukasana.
Bhujapidasana or Shoulder pressing posture is a hand-balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise. A variant pose, Eka Hasta Bhujasana, has one leg stretched out straight forwards.
Bidalasana or Marjariasana both meaning Cat Pose in Sanskrit, is a kneeling asana in modern yoga as exercise. A variant with one leg held out is Vyaghrasana Tiger Pose. A variant with the back lowered is Bitilasana Cow Pose; this is often used as the counter-posture, and a widely used exercise is to alternate between Cat and Cow Poses repeatedly.
Chaturanga Dandasana or Four-Limbed Staff pose, also known as Low Plank, is an asana in modern yoga as exercise and in some forms of Surya Namaskar (Salute to the Sun), in which a straight body parallel to the ground is supported by the toes and palms, with elbows at a right angle along the body. The variation Kumbhakasana, Phalakasana, or High Plank has the arms straight.
Durvasasana or Durvasana, is an advanced standing asana in hatha yoga.
Garbha Pindasana, Embryo in Womb Pose, sometimes shortened to Garbhasana, is a seated balancing asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. The pose is identical to Uttana Kurmasana, the inverted tortoise pose, except that the body is on the back in that pose instead of balancing upright.
Garudasana or Eagle Pose is a standing balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise. The name was used in medieval hatha yoga for a different pose.
Gomukhasana or Cow Face Pose is a seated asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise, sometimes used for meditation.
Gorakshasana, Cowherd pose is a seated asana in hatha yoga. It has been used for meditation and in tantric practice.
Hanumanasana or Monkey Pose is a seated asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is the yoga version of the front splits.
Janu Sirsasana, Head-to-Knee Pose, is a seated twisting and forward bending asana in diverse schools of modern yoga as exercise.
Jathara Parivartanasana, Revolved Abdomen pose, Belly twist, or Spinal twist is a reclining twist asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Kapotasana or Pigeon Pose is a kneeling back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Koundinyasana or Sage Kaundinya’s pose, is a hand-balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise. It may be performed with both legs bent (Dvi Pada Koundinyasana), or with one leg over the supporting arm, the other leg straight (Eka Pada Koundinyasana). Eka Pada Galavasana (Flying Pigeon Pose) has one leg bent, the foot hooked over the opposite arm under the body.
Krauncasana or Heron pose, also written Krounchasana, is a sitting asana in modern yoga as exercise. The pose is sitting with one knee forwards on the ground and the foot beside the hip, as in Virasana, the other leg straight and raised to touch the nose and chin, the foot grasped by both hands. It provides a stronger forward bend than Paschimottanasana. The posture is stated to be unsuitable during menstruation.
Kukkutasana, Cockerel Pose, or Rooster Posture is an asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.
Kurmasana, Tortoise Pose, or Turtle Pose is a sitting forward bending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.
Lolasana or Pendant pose is a hand-balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Makarasana or Crocodile pose is a reclining asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.
The name Malasana is used for various squatting asanas in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. Traditionally, and in B. K. S. Iyengar’s Light on Yoga, Malasana, or Garland Pose, is used for a different squatting pose with the feet together and the back rounded with multiple hand placement variations. When the hands are bound around the back this pose is also called Kanchyasana (“golden belt pose”). In the West, the name Malasana is also used for the “regular squat pose”, also called upavesasana, in which the hand palms are folded together in the so-called namaskar mudra in front of the chest, and the feet are set wider apart. In the Sritattvanidhi, the name Malasana is given to bhujapidasana, the “shoulder press”, in which the palms are placed on the ground, the body balancing on the hands, and the legs resting on the shoulders.
Marichyasana, the pose of the sage Marichi) is a sitting twist asana in modern yoga as exercise, in some forms combined with a forward bend.
Matsyasana or Fish pose is a reclining back-bending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. It is commonly considered a counterasana to Sarvangasana, or shoulder stand, specifically within the context of the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga Primary Series.
Matsyendrasana, Matsyendra’s Pose or Lord of the Fishes Pose, is a seated twisting asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. The full form is the difficult Paripurna Matsyendrasana. A common and easier variant is Ardha Matsyendrasana. The asana usually appears as a seated spinal twist with many variations, and in its half form is one of the twelve basic asanas in many systems of hatha yoga.
Mayurasana or Peacock pose is a hand-balancing asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise with the body held horizontal over the hands. It is one of the oldest non-seated asanas.
Natarajasana, Lord of the Dance Pose or Dancer Pose is a standing, balancing, back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is derived from a pose in the classical Indian dance form Bharatnatyam, which is depicted in temple statues in the Nataraja Temple, Chidambaram.
Naukasana, Boat Pose, or Paripurna Navasana is a seated asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Parighasana or Gate Pose is a kneeling asana in modern yoga as exercise.
The asana is not known before the 20th century. Since, as yoga scholar Mark Singleton writes, it closely resembles a pose used in modern gymnastics, such as Niels Bukh’s 1924 Primary Gymnastics, it is likely that Krishnamacharya derived the asana from the general gymnastics culture of his time; there is no suggestion that he copied it directly from Bukh.
Utthita Parsvakonasana, Extended Side Angle Pose, is an asana in modern yoga as exercise. It involves using many essential muscle groups: legs, ankles, groin, chest, lungs, shoulders, spine, and the abdomen.
Parshvottanasana or Intense Side Stretch Pose is a standing and forward bending asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Pasasana or Noose Pose is an asana. The pose is described and illustrated in the 19th century Sritattvanidhi; a slightly different pose is described in the 1966 Light on Yoga.
Vrischikasana or Scorpion pose is an inverted asana in modern yoga as exercise that combines a forearm balance and backbend. Light on Yoga treats both forearm and hand balance forms as variants of this pose. It is a part of the headstand cycle in some yoga traditions. A similar pose, Pincha Mayurasana or Feathered Peacock pose, is a forearm balance with the body raised, giving some resemblance to a peacock’s tail.
Prasarita Padottanasana or Wide Stance Forward Bend is a standing forward bend asana in modern yoga as exercise. This is a standing pose with the feet wide apart and the body folded forward and down until in the completed pose the head touches the ground and the hands are placed flat on the ground, the tips of the fingers in line with the heels, the arms bent at right angles. In |Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, four variant forms of the asana, which is considered fundamental to that style of yoga, are identified.
Eka Pada Rajakapotasana or [One-legged] King Pigeon Pose is a seated back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. The Yin Yoga form of the asana is named Swan Pose. Starting from sitting in Dandasana, one knee is bent, keeping the knee on the floor, so the foot is just in front of the groin, and the other leg is taken straight back. For the completed pose bend the knee of the rear leg, and grasp the foot or ankle with one or both hands.
Salabhasana, Shalabhasana, Locust pose, or Grasshopper pose is a prone back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. Salabhasana is entered from a prone position. The legs are stretched out straight and lifted; the arms are stretched straight back, palms down, and lifted; the head is lifted and the gaze is directed straight ahead. It is a back bend, or spine stretch, utilizing the strength of the upper and middle back to lift the weight of the legs as high as possible from a starting position while face down on the floor. It improves flexibility and coordination, exercises the back muscles, and increases strength and stamina.
Sarvangasana, Shoulderstand, or more fully Salamba Sarvangasana (Supported Shoulderstand), is an inverted asana in modern yoga as exercise; similar poses were used in medieval hatha yoga. Many named variations exist, including with legs in lotus position and Supta Konasana with legs wide apart, toes on the ground. Sarvaṅgāsana has been nicknamed “queen” or “mother” of all the asanas.
A split (commonly referred to as splits or the splits) is a physical position in which the legs are in line with each other and extended in opposite directions. Splits are commonly performed in various athletic activities, including dance, figure skating, gymnastics, contortionism, synchronized swimming, cheerleading, martial arts and yoga as exercise, where a front split is named Hanumanasana and a side split is named Samakonasana. A person who has assumed a split position is said to be “in a split” or “doing the splits”.
Shavasana, Corpse Pose, or Mrtasana, is an asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise, often used for relaxation at the end of a session. It is the usual pose for the practice of yoga nidra meditation. The name comes from the Sanskrit words शव Śava, “corpse” and आसन Āsana, “posture” or “seat”. The alternative name Mrtasana is from Sanskrit मृत mṛta, “death”.
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana, Shoulder supported bridge or simply Bridge, also called Setu Bandhasana, is an inverted back-bending asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. The pose is named from the Sanskrit words सेतु Setu, a bridge; बन्ध Bandha, caught; सर्वा Sarva, all; ङ्ग Anga, limb; and आसन Asana, seat or posture.
Simhasana or Lion Pose is an asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise.
The name comes from the Sanskrit words simha (सिंह), meaning “lion”, and āsana (आसन), meaning “posture” or “seat”. The pose has also been named Narasimhasana, from Sanskrit नरसिंह Narasimha, a lion-man avatar of the god Vishnu. The posture is described in the tenth century Vimānārcanākalpa.
Supta Padangusthasana, Reclining Hand to Big Toe pose, or Supine Hand to Toe pose is a reclining asana in modern yoga as exercise. The name is from the Sanskrit सुप्त पादाङ्गुष्ठासन supta pādāṅguṣṭhāsana, from सुप्त supta, “reclined”, पादाङ्गुष्ठ pādāṅguṣṭha, “big toe”, and आस āsana, “posture” or “seat”.
Surya Namaskar, Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation, is a practice in yoga as exercise incorporating a flow sequence of some twelve gracefully linked asanas. The asana sequence was first recorded as yoga in the early 20th century, though similar exercises were in use in India before that, for example among wrestlers. The basic sequence involves moving from a standing position into Downward and Upward Dog poses and then back to the standing position, but many variations are possible. The set of 12 asanas is dedicated to the solar deity Surya. In some Indian traditions, the positions are each associated with a different mantra.
Svastikasana is an ancient meditation asana in hatha yoga, sitting cross-legged. In Sanskrit svastika means auspicious; it is also the name of an ancient Hindu symbol of good fortune.
Tadasana, Mountain Pose or Samasthiti is a standing asana in modern yoga as exercise; it is not described in medieval hatha yoga texts. It is the basis for several other standing asanas.
Tittibhasana or Firefly pose is an arm-balancing asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. The pose is said to activate the manipura chakra at the solar plexus.
Trikonasana or Utthita Trikonasana, Triangle Pose is a standing asana in modern yoga as exercise. Variations include Baddha Trikonasana (bound triangle pose) and Parivrtta Trikonasana (revolved triangle pose).
Trivikramasana or the standing splits is a standing asana in hatha yoga. The name of this pose comes from Trivikrama, a figure in Hindu mythology whose name means “three strides”, and “asana” meaning “posture” or “seat”.
Tulasana, Balance pose, Dolasana (Swing pose), Tolasana (Scale pose), or Utthita Padmasana (Raised Lotus pose) is a hand-balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise.
Upavista Konasana, also written Upavistha Konasana or “wide-angle seated forward bend” is an asana in modern yoga as exercise, sitting upright with the legs as wide apart as possible, grasping the toes and leaning forward.
Chakrasana, Wheel Pose or Urdhva Dhanurasana, Upward-Facing Bow Pose is an asana in yoga as exercise. It is a backbend and is the first pose of the finishing sequence in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga. It gives great flexibility to the spine. In acrobatics and gymnastics this body position is called a bridge.
Urdhva Mukha Shvanasana or Upward Facing Dog Pose is a back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is commonly part of the widely-performed Surya Namaskar (Salute to the Sun) sequence, though the similar Bhujangasana (cobra pose) may be used there instead.
Ustrasana, Ushtrasana, or Camel Pose is a kneeling back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. The name comes from the Sanskrit words उष्ट्र Uṣṭra, “camel”, and आसन, Asana meaning “posture” or “seat”.
Utkatasana, Chair Pose, is a standing asana in modern yoga as exercise. It was a low squatting asana in medieval hatha yoga. The name comes from the Sanskrit words utkaṭa (उत्कट) meaning “wild, frightening, above the usual, intense, gigantic, furious, or heavy”, and āsana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat”.
Uttanasana or Standing Forward Bend, with variants such as Padahastasana where the toes are grasped, is a standing forward bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. The name comes from the Sanskrit words उत्तान uttāna, “intense stretch”; and आसन; āsana, “posture” or “seat”.
Utthita Hasta Padangusthasana, Standing Big Toe Hold or Extended Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose is a standing balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise. The name comes from the Sanskrit words Utthita (उत्थित) meaning “extended”, Hasta (हस्त) meaning “hand”, Pada (पद) meaning “foot”, Angustha (ङ्गुष्ठ) meaning “thumb” or “toe”, and Asana (आसन) meaning “posture” or “seat”.
Vajrasana, Thunderbolt Pose, or Diamond Pose, is a kneeling asana in hatha yoga and modern yoga as exercise. Medieval texts describe a variety of poses under this name.
The practitioner sits on the heels with the calves beneath the thighs. There is a four finger gap between the kneecaps, and the first toe of both the feet touch each other and sit erect.
Utthita Vasisthasana (sometimes shortened to Vasisthasana) or Side Plank pose is a balancing asana in modern yoga as exercise. The name of the pose comes from the Sanskrit उत्थित Utthita extended, वसिष्ठ Vasiṣṭha, a sage, and आसन āsana, “posture” or “seat”. The pose is not described in the medieval hatha yoga texts. It appears in the 20th century in the Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga of Pattabhi Jois.
Viparita Dandasana or Inverted Staff Pose is an inverted back-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. It may be performed with both feet on the ground, or with one leg raised straight up.
The name of this asana comes from Sanskrit विपरीत viparīta, “inverted”, दण्ड daṇḍa, “staff” symbolising authority and the devotee’s prostration, and आसन āsana, “posture” or “seat”. The variants are named for Sanskrit एक eka, “one” or द्वि dvi, “two”, and पाद pada, “foot”.
Viparita Karani or legs up the wall pose is both an asana and a mudra in hatha yoga. In modern yoga as exercise, it is commonly a fully supported pose using a wall and sometimes a pile of blankets.
Virabhadrasana or Warrior Pose is a group of related lunging standing asanas in modern yoga as exercise commemorating the exploits of a mythical warrior, Virabhadra. The name of the pose derives from the Hindu myth, but the pose is not recorded in the hatha yoga tradition until the 20th century. This article contains Indic text. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks or boxes, misplaced vowels or missing conjuncts instead of Indic text. It has been described as one of the most iconic poses in yoga.
Virasana or Hero Pose is a kneeling asana in modern yoga as exercise. Medieval hatha yoga texts describe a cross-legged meditation asana under the same name. Supta Virasana is the reclining form of the pose; it provides a stronger stretch.
The name comes from the Sanskrit words वीर vira meaning “hero”, and आसन āsana meaning “posture” or “seat”; supta (सुप्त) means “reclined”.
Vrikshasana or Tree Pose is a balancing asana. It is one of the very few standing poses in medieval hatha yoga, and remains popular in modern yoga as exercise. The name comes from the Sanskrit words vṛkṣa (वृक्ष) meaning “tree”, and āsana (आसन) meaning “posture”.
Yoganidrasana or Yogic Sleep Pose is a reclining forward-bending asana in modern yoga as exercise. It is sometimes called Dvi Pada Sirsasana, but that name describes the balancing form of the pose. In hatha yoga, the pose, Pasini Mudra, was a mudra, a seal to prevent the escape of prana, not an asana.